$20,201 raised out of $64,000
Start date
Jun 01, 2022
Close date
Aug 01, 2022

Help us bring Tibetan history to life! An eight-part animated history of Tibet (from 600AD – today).


The Animated History of Tibet is an eight-part animated documentary series featuring original artwork, maps, motion comic animation, and interviews with leading specialists in Tibetan history and culture from universities across Europe and North America. Each twenty-minute episode will be freely available on YouTube in English and – if we meet our stretch goals – will also be available in Tibetan with optional Mandarin subtitles.

The Animated History of Tibet will cover over 1300 years of history, starting with the rise and fall of the Tibetan Empire and the first spread of Buddhism to Tibet in the 7th century AD. In later episodes, you will learn about the origins of the Tibetan Buddhist sects, the court intrigue of the government of the Dalai Lamas, and the complex and shifting relationship that Tibet shared with the Chinese Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. The final two episodes will explore Tibet as an object of European orientalist fantasy and imperialist ambition, as well as the invasion and annexation of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China in the early 1950s and the origins of the modern Tibetan diaspora.

Tibetan history is wildly rich and we think that it should be accessible to everyone regardless of their educational or financial background. Please consider supporting The Animated History of Tibet to help us bring that history to life!

The series will be written and directed by Alexander K. Smith, who holds a PhD in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies from the University of Paris (EPHE – PSL) and a MA in Tibetan Studies from Oxford University. Episodes will be published through the educational YouTube channel Armchair Academics (https://www.youtube.com/c/ArmchairAcademics101).

What We Need 

Our funding goal for each twenty-minute episode is $8,000, which brings us to a total budget of $64,000 for the entire series.  In addition to perks for our backers, this will cover the costs of illustration, motion comic animation, and stylized, historically accurate mapmaking. We’re not planning any overhead, so every dollar pledged to the series will go towards the project’s production costs.              

But… if there’s no overhead, what do we get out of making the Animated History of Tibet?

Well, our main goal isn’t financial. We love Tibetan history and have benefitted enormously from our involvement with Tibetan friends, colleagues, and institutions and we want to give something back to that community. With that said, by publishing the series through our YouTube channel, Armchair Academics, there will be back-end profits that compensate the writer and producers – but only if the series is a success!

What are our stretch goals

At $80,000 we will be able to offer Tibetan-language subtitles for the entire series and, at $90,000, we will re-release The Animated History of Tibet with full Tibetan-language narration to make the series accessible to a wider audience. 

What You Get

Most importantly, you will be part of the reason that the Animated History of Tibet is able to be made and every donation at or beyond $50 will get your name in the credits of each episode along with the names of our Patreon patrons (patreon.com/armchairacademics).

If you’re interested in more than getting your name in the credits, contributions between $50 and $1,000 will also be able to pick from a bunch of additional perks: verbal shout-outs, prints featuring our original artwork and maps, postcards and bookmarks featuring art from the series, or an official t-shirt custom designed by our artists.

Looking for something even bigger? Donations at or beyond $5,000 will make a HUGE impact on the production and backers will receive associate, co-executive, or executive producer credits for each episode of the series in addition to their choice of additional perks.

However you decide to support us, know that it will make a difference in the success and reach of the Animated History of Tibet.

Other Ways You Can Help

Even if you can’t back the project financially, there’s a way you can help. Talk to your friends about the series or share our page on social media. Basically, help us get the word out and make some noise!