“Flip” That Problem

A major frustration during the entire course of events in Tibet has been the insufficiency of images, especially video for the news networks and 24-hour cable channels to chew on. We did luck out with some footage here and there, and blurry cell-phone pictures. CTV’s charging horsemen (and bikers) of Bora just blew me away. It had such a mythic quality to it.

Unlike the Gaza Strip or Baghdad, Tibet has only the occasional journalist passing through, and right now there’s no one there. If we want news footage of events in Tibet to reach the world we have to get it ourselves. Lugging around professional equipment or even a camcorder would be asking for trouble but a convenient solution seems to be at hand. The Flip is a tiny and inconspicuous video camera that gives surprising results. You could camouflage the thing in a chocolate bar wrapper or even a cigarette pack and pretend to be offering your buddy a smoke while filming a demonstration across the street. The Flip also has the overriding virtue of simplicity. Anyone in Tibet could be taught to operate one in five minutes. No sweat. It’s also cheap. J&R in New York is retailing it at $116. Read the NYTimes review and watch the video. It’s worth the time, even if you are not into such things. If the URL doesn’t work just google: “Camcorder Brings Zen to the Shoot – New York Times”.

By the way the review doesn’t mention how easy it is to download videos straight from the Flip to U-tube. There’s also no need to recharge batteries. Two AA batteries, available in the most remote store in the Changtang, will do the trick.Is there anyway we could get a bunch of these cameras to Tibet? You could probably buy them in Beijing, Chengdu or even Lhasa. I am sure there are a lot problems to overcome before we find the best way to get the video images out of Tibet. We need people who are savvy about these things, and we need a major discussion, even a conference on this whole issue. Send me an email if you have any ideas along these lines.


5 Replies to ““Flip” That Problem”

  1. I guess that thing can be really useful if we could shift it to Tibet or someone could take it to tibet. I came from Tibet recently and i knew this protest will happen some day soon. People in Tibet are desperate and dying to see His Holiness. But this time it’s not only HH but also depending on the living condition of our Tibetan brothers and sisters. I believe we should sent more of these things where truth could come out. There should be other gaget smaller then that where amazingly smart to use with no doubt.Yes, Jamyang lak .you are doing great JOb. proud to have you as a Tibetan.

  2. I always appreciated your courage and the tenacity for Rangtsen, and i still do. We look up at you when you were at the hills of Dhasa as a pure idol. Read your frank straight forward writings and the courage to speak out. I would really appreciate if you could give a more systematic idea about what must be the best way (with the present context) to fight for Rangtsen in one of your coming articles.
    Tashi delek
    thupten shastri

  3. I like the idea. Just as SFT has training sessions for activism, if there are trainings and discussions on how to use different gadgets to furhter our cause, that would be great.
    For instance, I travel to China at least a couple of times a year. There surely is bound to be ways to pass this along to our people there.
    This could be the beginning of active activism.

  4. Your idea of Flip is really good, maybe if we are able to get in touch with someone in Tibet through anymeans, but trustworhty, we can do some more homeworks I believe. I’m also looking for someone having sound knowledge with Hacking lines, you know netfights.

  5. Dear Tashi Dhondup la and all others interested in such ideas, or have experience in electronics and the internet. Keep in touch. I would like to organize a conference on how to get information and images out of Tibet. what do you think? Send in suggestions.


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