Land of Pure Vision: The Sacred Geography of Tibet and the Himalaya
A public talk by David Zurick, with comments from Dominique Townsend, Columbia University and Rubin Museum of Art and Mark Larrimore, Eugene Lang College, The New School.
This photo illustrated talk explores the intersection of faith and geography in the Himalayan region. It draws upon David Zurick’s many decades of work as a geographer and photographer in the mountains, and centers on his recently completed ten-year series of photographs of sacred landscapes and pilgrims. Maps and pictures in the talk will convey key components of nature, place, networks, and change, which together compose a mental cartography rooted in ritual and religious experience. The purpose of David’s talk is to visually evoke a sacred mountain world where the human spirit is in synchronicity with divine and natural forces, and to explore how the idea of sacred geography upholds both timeless beauty and the inevitably of landscape change.
David Zurick left home in 1975 to journey on the Overland Trail from Europe to Asia and hasn’t looked back. He completed his PhD in Geography at the University of Hawaii and East-West Center, Honolulu, and has written extensively about Asia and the Pacific, with a special focus on the Himalaya region. His writing and photography have won numerous awards, including the National Outdoor Book Award in 2006 for Illustrated Atlas of the Himalaya and the “Mt Everest Award” in 2009 for his Himalaya studies. The subject of much of his writing and photography is the contemporary cultural landscape.
Dominique Townsend is a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University and Head of Interpretation at the Rubin Museum of Art. She has a Masters from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD from Columbia’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Her research focuses on the intersections of Tibetan Buddhism and broader culture with a focus on high culture, education and aesthetics.
Mark Larrimore is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Eugene Lang College. He earned his BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Worcestor College, Oxford and his PhD in Religion from Princeton University. A few of his research interests are the problems of good and evil; race, religion, and ethics in Kant; and historicity of concepts of religion and ethics.