Free Spirit Festival Free Spirit Festival - celebration of Tibetan art and culture, especially reflecting contemporary life.

Free Spirit Festival

Nancy Pelosi

The eighteenth Free Spirit Award was given in 2020 to Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi is an American politician serving as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives since 2019, and before that from 2007 to 2011. Pelosi has served as a US representative from California since 1987.

A member of the Democratic Party, she is the only woman in US history to serve as Speaker and, until the election of Kamala Harris as Vice President, was the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history. As House Speaker, Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.

Nancy Pelosi is a global icon of peace, justice, and freedom. She openly and frankly raises her voice wherever there are injustices and human rights abuses. Tibet is on the top of her list, supporting the movement for freedom in the Himalayan region. During her visit in 2008 to McLeod Ganj, the seat of the Tibetan Diaspora, after meeting with the Dalai Lama and officials of the exile administration, Pelosi said the free world will have lost its moral authority to speak about human rights if it did not speak up against Chinese oppression in Tibet. "The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world." She visited McLeod Ganj a second time in 2017, leading an eight-member bipartisan delegation.

As a critic of China for decades on issues such as trade and human rights, Pelosi has ratcheted up pressure on China over its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in East Turkistan, where China has reportedly incarcerated over a million people in forced labour and concentration camps. Similarly, she has unequivocally criticised the Chinese government for imprisoning and violently silencing Hong Kong democracy activists, and advocates for the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders pressed President Donald Trump to impose real punishments on China for its unfair trade practices, and urged Trump to take a strong stand against China on democracy and human rights issues alongside forging bilateral relations for US national and economic security.

"But human rights are also integral to a fair trading relationship in countries like China that exploit prison labour, engage in other unfair labour practices, and stifle free speech and dissent," Pelosi wrote in a letter to President Trump in 2017.

The organisers of the Free Spirit Award thank Ms Pelosi for her unwavering love and support for Tibetan people in their quest for a Free Tibet, and for speaking out against injustice everywhere around the world. May she live a long, happy, and healthy life.

The Free Spirit Festival took a break from the year 2005. Since the festival gave birth to a few major events such as the Miss Tibet pageant, Tibetan Music Awards and the Free Spirit Film Festival, the logistics became the obvious problem to hold and incorporate all the events in the festival itself.

All the major events are now separated and are organised independently. Miss Tibet pageant will be held every year and the events such as Tibetan Music Awards, the Tibetan Film Festival, and others that are being planned, will be held every other year or when announced.

The Free Spirit Festival will come back in the near future.

The Festival has been paid for mostly by the Producer and the Director, Lobsang Wangyal, himself over the years. He has been fortunate to be able to do this through his career in photojournalism, although funding for this year's festival still remains a problem with the producer. Any assistance that you may be able to offer in this regard would be appreciated. Please contact Lobsang Wangyal, and visit his support page.