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On June 13th The Tibetan Freedom Festival will take place in four cities around the globe simultaneously - Tokyo Chicago Amsterdam and Sydney This momentous event is a musical festival with a serious edge promoting awareness of the Tibetan cause both the political status of this nominal region of China and the nonviolent ethos that makes their fight for freedom so unique Sebastian Edwards looks at the significance of the festival and the emergence of an international movement driving forward the cause of the Tibetan people From Dream to Reality For centuries art and politics have mingled in varying degrees for a variety of reasons with a variety of results But when art and politics are fused together in just the right way and for just the right reasons the combination is a potent one The Tibetan Freedom Festival is perhaps the most inspiring contemporary incarnation of this potential force It has advanced its cause of nonviolence freedom and justice around the world defying the view of the 1990s as apathetic and anti-political Since it was first held in San Francisco in 1996 the Festival has become an annual event Its evolution into a four-location global festival of such a size reflects the worldwide surge in interest in Tibet that has emerged over the last few years It all began as the distant dream of twenty-something musicians as one of them Erin Potts now the festivals Executive Director describes While eating at a Tibetan restaurant one night Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys and I began dreaming about the possibility of putting on a massive concert to raise awareness of the occupation of Tibet Two and a half years later we stood on a giant stage looking out over the 50000 faces at the first Tibetan Freedom Concert Only 21 years old at the time my cohorts and I were novices
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