About

Mikel Dunham

Mikel Dunham is an author, artist and photographer. In the late 1980s Dunham became the last student of the late thangka master, Pema Wangyal of Dolpo. He spent the next four years learning how to mix mineral pigments, line-brush in 22-carat gold and paint Tibetan iconography. This led to Dunham’s commission to paint the murals for a Tibetan monastery in Sarnath, India—one of eight major pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. Dunham then became artistic director for a much larger Tibetan mural project—a three-year commitment—in upstate New York at Pema Samye Ling Monastery.

In 2005, Dunham published Buddha’s Warriors: The Story of the CIA-Backed Tibetan Freedom Fighters, the Chinese Invasion, and the Ultimate Fall of Tibet. Buddha’s Warriors is a political Tibetan history based on seven years of interviews with and the CIA Task Team who secretly trained the growing Tibetan resistance movement in the late 1950s and early 60s. In the last year he has written articles for Harvard South Asian Journal, Tricycle Magazine, and a four-part report on child prostitute trafficking in Asia for Tehelka.

Dunham currently spends much of his time in Nepal researching his next political history while also playing an active role in human rights issues. He was selected as an international observer during the 2008 April elections in Nepal. Continual updates of the political situation in Nepal and Tibet are posted on his website

Personal Website:

Mikel Dunham Blog

Publications:

Samye: A Pilgrimage to the Birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism
Stilled Life
Casting for Murder
Buddha’s Warriors: The Story of the CIA-Backed Tibetan Freedom Fighters, the Chinese Invasion, and the Ultimate Fall of Tibet
Le Gout du Tibet