Exhibitions of the festival TIBET
14-31 October


"PILGRIM": ersonal exhibition of Richard Gere's photo works (first time in Russia!)

Richard Gere, for most of us, is the immensely popular star of Pretty Woman and many more movies. Little do his fans and others know that behind the seductive screen appearance is a sensitive soul, a politically aware, and a passionate human being who spends his time on social causes. A Buddhist, and a vegetarian, he has supported, among his various causes, the right of Tibetan exiles to their homeland, now under Chinese occupation.

Gere considers His Holiness Dalai Lama his teacher and friend, who graciously wrote the foreword to Geres book of photographs, which is aptly titled Pilgrim. The black and white pictures capture the tragedy, resilience, philosophy, character and spirit of Tibetans. Gere traveled extensively in India, Tibet and Nepal to photograph his subjects, and writes in his introduction to the book that these are "photographs of my feelings for and about Tibetans. for all theyve given me, which I will never be able to repay".

He also adds, "In the Buddhist view, the greatest ignorance is to believe that the world exists in the way it appears to exist. From that follows the concept of me and mine. All other evils follow from that. According to Buddhist thought, things do exist but in a relative way, not in an absolute way. We exist inter-dependently. We are empty of inherent existence. The closer you look, the more you enlarge, blow up, the further away the object becomes, receding . May all beings, and especially our brothers and sisters in Tibet, be continuously held in the protective embrace of the Virtuous Ones, and may they quickly achieve happiness and the causes of future happiness."

Established by Richard Gere, the Gere Foundation provides philanthropic assistance to the causes and groups worldwide whose work represents the humanitarian goals that he has long supported - victims of war and natural disasters, HIV/AIDS, and addressing human rights violations occurring around the world. The primary mission of the Gere Foundation, however, remains to support the Tibetan community in India through health, technological and educational projects.

In India, the Foundation has also established the Naz Foundation that provides long-term care facilities for women and children infected with the AIDS virus. On September 21, 2003 Richard Gere brought together a group of world musicians, including Anoushka Shankar, for a concert in New York.

The concert was called Healing the Divide: A Concert for Peace and Reconciliation. Healing the Divide is a new nonprofit organization established to improve the lives of people in impoverished communities throughout the Himalayan region. "Healing the Divide is bringing urgently needed resources to communities whose ancient wisdom traditions uphold the values of non-violence and compassion but who are struggling to survive in the 21st century."

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