January 2, 2012
I know things have been quiet here for a while. My apologies, it’s been a busy holiday season here in Reclusland. And while I am still a bit short on the “regularly scheduled” programming I did want to take a moment and do some good-hearted shilling for some kind people who recently got in touch with me through my contact form.
They are working to put together a film about the work of a man named E. Gene Smith, a man of Mormon background who spent a good portion of his life working to save holy Tibetan Buddhist texts from destruction by digitizing them. As I am a big fan of the concurrence of the digital and the spiritual, I applaud the work of Mr. Smith, and the people putting together this documentary of his life and work, and I wish them much success in their endeavor!
From their press release:
“This feature-length documentary uncovers Smith’s 50-year journey with renowned scholars, lamas and laypeople as they struggle to find, preserve and digitize more than 20,000 volumes of ancient Tibetan text. Crossing multiple borders – geographic, political and philosophical – Digital Dharma is an epic story of a cultural rescue and how one man’s mission became the catalyst for an international movement to provide free access to the story of a people and share their wisdom with the world.”
“Across India, the Himalayas and throughout the U.S., (director Dafna) Yachin and her crew followed Smith over the past five years. His untimely death last December underscores the importance of completing the film for this year’s festival market and heightening awareness of Smith’s mission and organization, the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.”
These good people have a substantial goal to meet raising funds for the production of this important documentary. More info can be found on their Kickstarter page. Please check it out, and chip in if you can (they’re running low on time, so please do so soon)!
More info available on their main site.
(I, for one, find myself in a bit of TOTAL AWE at the thought of 20,000 sacred texts in digital format, infinitely sharable and reproducible. Let’s hope there’s some digital archives out there making sure to include these priceless treasures in their vaults…)