Since 1998 and as recently as November 2018, 165 Tibetans have burned themselves alive in public protest, both inside Tibet and in exile. This study foregrounds Tibetan refugees’ interpretations of the self-immolation protests and examines how the exile community has socially, politically, and emotionally interrogated and assimilated this resistance movement. Based upon eleven months of ethnographic field research and 150 hours of formal interviews with different groups of Tibetan refugees in northern India, including: freedom activists, former political prisoners, members of the exile parliament, teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, families of self-immolators, and survivors of self-immolation, this project asks: What does activism look like in a time of martyrdom? What are the practices of solidarity with the dead? How does a refugee community that has been in exile for over three generations make sense of a wave of death occurring in a homeland most cannot access? Does the tactic of self-immolation challenge Tibetan held conceptions of resistance and the conceived relationship between politics, religion and nation? These questions are examined with attention to the sociopolitical expectations and vulnerabilities that the refugee community face. This study thus analyzes what it means to mourn those one never knew, and examines the fractious connections between resistance, solidarity, trauma, representation, political exigency, and community cohesion. By examining the uncomfortable affect around self-immolation, its memorialization and representation, the author argues that self-immolation is a relational act that creates and ushers forth witnesses. As such, one must analyze the obligations of witnessing, the barriers to witnessing, and the expectations of solidarity. This project offers the theory of exigent solidarity, whereby solidarity is understood as a contested space, borne of expectation, pressure, and responsibility, with its expression complex and its execution seemingly impossible. It calls for attention to the affective labor of solidarity in a time of ongoing martyrdom, and demonstrates that in the need to maintain solidarity and social cohesion, a sense of mutual-becoming occurs whereby the community is reconciled uneasily into a shared fate.