“The important thing is to be able to live in a place or situation where you must use your sixth sense all the time.” Michael Ondaatje

The power and importance of photography is unarguable, but what might Buddhism’s response be to our individual part in creating it?

Tenzin Shenyen is a 21st Century itinerant Buddhist monk who enjoys keeping the communication pathways open between his Buddhist worldview and the British culture he grew up in. We are delighted that he has agreed to share his thoughts on the contemporary situation of photography.

Who is it for?
We would recommend this event for anyone interested in the developing place of images, art and creativity in society, or perhaps feeling pressured by our obsession with creativity and a perceived need for self-expression. Come along if you want to challenge or reflect on your own ideas about photography and art.

2 May 2018 from 19:30 until 21:00. Doors open at 19:00.

MadLab, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN.
The venue is fully accessible but for more information, please visit their website.

This event is free, but booking is essential. Please register via the link below. It is also possible to make a donation at the time of registering; this helps to support our future programme of events.

Please note our terms and conditions including our refund policy.

About Tenzin Shenyen
Tenzin Shenyen studied philosophy at University of Manchester 1980-83; worked at Cornerhouse in Manchester (now part of HOME) for a decade, then moved to Japan in 1994. In 2004, he ordained as a Buddhist monk with the Dalai Lama in India and since then has been wandering around pretty much non-stop. In July, however, he disappears into a three-year retreat.

Tenzin Shenyen reflects on opinionlessness:

After breaking the 800m world record, the Kenyan athlete David Radusha makes a noise like a delicate little songbird. And then, with indescribable innocence, in the post-race interview he says “the weather was so beautiful tonight I decided to try and break the world record”.

Within the strict segregation of the sexes operating in a traditional Arab city, a girl talks to her lover on a mobile phone while gazing at him from across the street.

In Colombo, a destitute man lies sprawled out along a bus shelter bench, holding his head, beneath a poster of a smiling vibrant female boxer.

An artist talks about how “my days become nights and my nights become brighter and more ‘available’…”

A quantum physicist talks about the coming decades of ‘very simple decision making’.

A girl steps onto the bus wearing a t-shirt that says ‘another girl’.

In an email conversation, a friend asks me to explain what I mean by the phrase ‘conversation-like behaviour’. I send back seven definitions.

(These things I saw, or read about, or considered, in the 64th year of the Xerox Era, also the 15th year of the Era of the Savage Detectives, during the lunar month known in medieval Japan as Risshuu, ‘Autumn Begins’)

"… And at the end I recounted something said to me by a curator quitting her job: that opinions are non-contemporary, they are no longer a useful or appropriate organising principle, that reckoning is no longer a scarcity, that the network now so obviously and explicitly extends beyond the bounds of any individual being able to say anything useful or conclusive on or about it in isolation, that telling someone your opinion is like telling them about your dreams."  James Bridle

Thanks for reading this far. Please consider making a donation at the time of registering; this helps to support our future programme of events. At the moment we have very limited funding that only covers the costs of a few member-led events each year. If everyone attending a member-led event donated £6, we could put on many more such events.

Image: Tenzin Shenyen

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