ARRANGED through a Tibetan living in North Devon, there will be a reunion of Tibet s singing nuns at the Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, on March 18 in Singing Louder: Echoes of Drapchi Prison. By the mid 1990s there were known to be more than 164 fem

ARRANGED through a Tibetan living in North Devon, there will be a reunion of Tibet's 'singing nuns' at the Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, on March 18 in Singing Louder: Echoes of Drapchi Prison.By the mid 1990s there were known to be more than 164 female prisoners held in Drapchi Prison, Tibet. Most were nuns, some as young as 15, imprisoned for their religious and political beliefs, and for taking part in peaceful demonstrations calling for Tibetan freedom. They were subjected to inhumane treatment including interrogation, torture, solitary confinement, beatings, and years of malnutrition.For many, singing songs was a vital source of comfort; a way of expressing solidarity and support for each other - and an expression of determination and defiance. In June 1993, 14 nuns secretly recorded pro-independence songs on a cassette recorder borrowed from the 'criminal' prisoners (as opposed to 'political' prisoners who were not allowed such luxuries). The nuns' songs told of their unwavering devotion to the Dalai Lama and of their yearning for the freedom of Tibet. One of the tapes was smuggled out of the prison and copies were later distributed literally around the world. The aim of this project is to reunite six of these former prisoners to record a CD, embark on a concert tour and make a documentary film. Box office (01805) 624624.