In 2002, Laurence Brahm decided to end his career as an investment advisor in China, to make documentary films in Tibet. It was just something he always wanted to do. This decision changed the direction of his life.
Between 2002-2004, he conducted three expeditions in search of the mythical kingdom “Shangri-la” described in James Hilton’s 1933 classic “Lost Horizon.”
He never found Shangri-la. But journeyed to remote parts of the Himalayan plateau, encountering many people of different ethnic backgrounds, determined to protect their culture and environment. In many ways each individual was creating their own Shangri-la.
They established micro-businesses to protect ethnicity and sustain culture. Their traditions and indigenous wisdom had become a vestibule of knowledge that can help us protect the environment.
The concept of social enterprise arose from their experiences.
Inspired by them, in 2005 he moved to Lhasa and established Shambhala Serai, a social enterprise. Dedicated to protecting heritage architecture, its business operations support medical, education, disabled artisan, and nomadic outreach programs.
[Connect to Social Enterprise]
Searching for Shangri-la
“Searching for Shangri-la” In 2002 by hitchhiking across Tibet, Qinghai and northern Yunnan, searching for Shangri-la, inspiration for social enterprise arose from this journey. Ideas that awoke would one day become known as the Himalayan Consensus.
Conversations with Sacred Mountains
"Conversations with Sacred Mountains" presents Brahm's 2003 expedition following Yunnan's Tea Caravan Trail using Hilton's "Lost Horizon" as guidebook. Mountain peoples each have their sacred mountain. By respecting our environment, it turn protects us.
This third "Himalayan Notes" expedition follows the ancient "Shambhala Sutra" across Tibet's most remote and western Ngari region in search of the mythical kingdom of Shambhala. Visiting Kailash Mountain and the lost kingdom of Guge, the expedition discovers ancient prophesies calling for an era of sustainable development.
New Age Sutra
This experimental stream-of-consciousness compilation contains previously un-published random notes and photographs from the three different expeditions. Written in different, yet interlocking styles, it is intended to shatter ones assumptions and empty the cup.
798 Installation Art Exhibition
“Searching for Shangri-la – Journey to Himalayan Consensus” In 2009 we celebrated the three expeditions and trilogy of film and story as an installation art exhibit at Cheng Xingdong Art Space, the largest gallery in Beijing’s 798 Art District.
“Shambhala Sutra” documentary-fiction movie filmed in Tibet’s most remote Ngari prefecture, aired at Al Jazeera Film Festival (2008).
“Searching for Shangri-la” (2003) was filmed in Tibet as the first cross media production in China consisting of television series, documentary film, music CD, DVD, and print media, aired at Santa Fe Film Festival in 2005.
2015 launch of LETV channel “searching for shangri-la” (China’s Largest Internet TV).