Faces of Hope

FACES OF HOPE: Children of a Changing World,  by Alison Wright
(New World Library)

Best known for her award-winning photography of Tibet and its culture in exile, Alison Wright has traveled the world for more than two decades as a photojournalist. Throughout her career, she has dedicated herself to portraying the lives of the developing world’s children. The stunning photographs and inspirational stories in Faces of Hope demonstrate that even amid economic and political struggle, hope begins with just one child.

From tribal herders in Africa, to young reincarnated Buddhist lamas, to shamans-in-training in the Amazon jungle, Wright reveals a colorful mosaic of children striving to merge their traditional cultures with the influences of rapid globalization. She captures not only their resilience and tenacity, but also the simple joy they find in play, in family, and in the changing world around them.

Here, Wright presents her finest photographs, spanning Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. In enthralling captions, she relates her personal encounters with the children, vividly detailing their cultures and daily lives. Faces of Hope celebrates the spirit of these children, their heritage, and, most of all, the promise they hold––for their communities, their countries, and for all our futures.

“The beautiful photographs of children’s bright faces here remind me that the future of our world lies in their hands, which in turn prompts the question, ‘How can we help them?’ Often we pay attention only to providing them with or improving the physical facilities for health, education, employment, and so on. And yet, what I feel is equally important is that as parents and guardians of children we should demonstrate and teach the real worth of basic moral values such as love, compassion, and universal responsibility in our own behavior and way of life. Similarly, our schools, colleges, and other such institutions have a duty to inculcate basic standards of behavior, such as altruism and honesty, in children’s minds from primary school to university level. If children are to set a good example, they should be encouraged and inspired to follow it. Then the hope we place in them will be well founded.”

– H.H. The Dalai Lama

WRITINGS ON HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA,  edited by Tom Morgan, photos by Alison Wright
(New World Library)

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has captured the world’s heart with his extraordinary wisdom and humility in the face of China’s brutal decades-long occupation of Tibet. This dynamic collection includes impressionistic essays about the Tibetan leader by Diki Tsering, his mother; China scholar and journalist Orville Schell; and travel writer Pico Iyer; as well as an interview with His Holiness by famed monologist Spalding Gray. A stunning visual biography that marries full-color images with insightful essays. A Simple Monk is published in cooperation with New York’s Tibet House, which will receive a portion of the proceeds. Award-winning photojournalist Alison Wright, who lived with exiled Tibetans for over a decade, was afforded exceptional access to the government-in-exile for this book.

This “visual biography” of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama blends gorgeous photography with text that is surprisingly sharp. While chronicling the experiences of the Tibetan community in exile, Wright relies heavily on vibrant colors such as red, orange and monastic saffron to bring these images to life. She offers illuminating portraits of the Dalai Lama himself, as well as cinema verité-style photographs of ordinary Tibetans at play and worship. Mercifully, she omits hackneyed images of His Holiness posing with this or that Hollywood celebrity.

This restrained attitude toward the Buddha-loving glitterati is wittily reinforced in Orville Schell’s essay, “Searching for the Dalai Lama: Dispirited Stars Find Absolution in Buddhism.” Schell discusses Richard Gere’s two decades as a Buddhist practitioner and then gives the slip to other stars such as Steven Seagal, who apparently sees Buddhism as just another vehicle for selfaggrandizement. As a whole, the book demonstrates a refreshing lack of awe for His Holiness, although it is always deeply respectful. An early chapter from Diki Tsering’s book Dalai Lama, “My Son,” presents a mother’s surprisingly matter-of-fact, unsentimental reminiscences of the Tibetan leader’s infancy and boyhood, while Columbia University professor Robert Thurman takes the Dalai Lama’s mission into the next age with “Hope for the Third Millennium,” excerpted from his Inner Revolution.

For coffee-table fare, this is intelligent stuff. Stunning full-color photography and well-chosen text make this 10″ book stand out among the many titles about the Dalai Lama. Advertising in Buddhist and New Age publications should help move the book’s 50,000-copy print run. It is a main selection of the One Spirit Book Club.

– Publisher’s Weekly

PORTRAIT OF A CULTURE IN EXILE. Photos and text by Alison Wright,
foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama

This visually compelling, full-color portrait of Tibetan life in exile displays the spirit of Tibetan refugees living in the beautiful mountain settings of northern India and shows how they have preserved the best of their unique culture and identity.

“This stunning book of color photographs by photojournalist Wright of Tibetans living in exile in Northern India captures the variety of daily experience, from images of monks and laypeople at work or prayer to a portrait of a young nun who had been tortured in Tibet before her escape. ”

 – Library Journal

Available online from Snowlion Publications