The Cross Art Projects.  Contemporary Art & Timor Leste.

Timor-Leste Visual Art, Architecture & Culture Database

Jo Holder, Craig Judd and Eleanor Bosler

This bibliography is focused on contemporary art and artists and their organisations with an emphasis on Timor-Leste and Australia. It includes contemporary cultural development and film. It also includes cultural heritage, items of tradition, custom or kultura: archaeological, architectural (including traditional architecture), ethnographic and traditional heritage, as well as traditional objects associated with living cultures. There is a limited amount on intangible heritage: traditions, languages, social and ritual practices, knowledge and natural resource management, and traditional arts and performance, including music and dance.

Refer to: John Clark, Modern and Contemporary Asian Art: A Working Bibliography, 2011 version:

Timor Leste’s 25-year independence struggle was given spirit and form by the silent resilience of traditional culture. Despite achieiving full independence in May 2002, the country was a smoking ruin with 80% of its infrastructure destroyed and communities obliterated. A decade later, four artists – Maria Madeira and Victor De Sousa from East Timor, and Narelle Jubelin and Fiona MacDonald from Australia – formed a mobile residency in 2012. They travelled to 11 of the 13 districts ofTimor-Leste to witness its reconstruction from scorched earth. Their travel was faciliated by Timor Aid and by the late independent Melbourne-based curator Jennifer Phipps to whom the Elastic Borracha Elástico publication is dedicated.

The artists considered the connections between women’s woven textiles (tais), a longstanding form of cultural communication, and the contemporary art world. They also considered vernacular traditions in architecture and political poster art, and the currency of a children’s game like ‘elastics’ as a symbol of the newly independent nation’s regeneration and cross-cultural practice, and of the trickiness of the Australian-East Timor relationship. The artists’ work, produced in collaboration and independently, took form in film, weaving, petit point, painting, printmaking, installation and performance.

Through a partnership involving The Cross Art Projects (Sydney) and the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (Darwin) Darwin, the Elastic project’s first exhibition was held at the Chan Contemporary Art Space Darwin, followed by a concurrent exhibition at The Cross Art Projects, Sydney (Sept/Oct 2014). In Darwin the mobile residency artists were joined by master weaver and performer Veronica Pereira Maia who allowed her monumental Tais Don (1996) to be exhibited, commemorating the Santa Cruz Massacre in Dili (1991).

Elastic Borracha Elástico is groundbreaking in its aim to build an archive and appreciation for Timor Leste contemporary arts. Included are essays by Jo Holder and Mary Jane Jacob (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) which contextualise the project’s broader artistic and cross-cultural imperatives, and essays in English and Tetum by Veronica Pereira Maia and Maria Madeira. Also features the award-winning Elastic offset lithographic print suite (with Big Fag Press, Sydney) and the ‘Timor-Leste Visual Art, Architecture & Culture Database’ which exists here as an online resource.

This publication serves as an important record of the Elastic exhibitions and related public programs in Darwin and Sydney which powerfully reignited the spirit and struggle of pre-independence activism while drawing attention to independent East Timor’s current crises including access to Timor Sea oil and gas.

Primary sources
Ramos-Horta, José, ‘Crime de Lesa-Arte: A Fuga dos Valores Artísticos e Históricos de Timor’, A voz de Timor, 30 November 1973. Cited in Hicks, David, Rhetoric and the Decolonization and Recolonization of East Timor, 2014, p. 51.

Culture in general (including human rights, reconciliation and West Timor): articles, archives, books, documents
Aditjondro, George J, East Timor: An Indonesian intellectual speaks out, 1994. Collected essays including ‘In the Shadow of Mount Ramelau: The Impact of the Occupation of East Timor’, Feith H. Baulch E and Walsh, P (eds).

Aubrey, Jim (ed.), Free East Timor: Australia’s Culpability in East Timor’s Genocide, Sydney, 1998. Includes Chomsky, Noam, ‘The Great Powers and Human Rights: The Case of East Timor’.

Babo-Soares, Dionisio, ‘Nahe Biti: The Philosophy and Process of Grassroots Reconciliation (and Justice) in East Timor’, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, no. 5, 2004; pdf online.

Balibo: Ball, Desmond and McDonald, Hamish, Death in Balibo, Lies in Canberra, 2000; Joliffe, Jill, Cover-Up: the inside story of the Balibo Five, 2001; republished as Balibo, 2009; Shirley Shackleton, The Circle of Silence. A personal testimony before, during and after Balibo, 2010.

Birmingham, John, ‘Appeasing Jakarta: Australia’s complicity in the East Timor tragedy’, Quarterly Essay, no. 2, 1991. Excerpt reprinted as The Brave Ones: East Timor, 1999: Short Black 5, essay, 2015.

Carey, Peter and Bentley, G Carter, East Timor at the Crossroads: The Forging of a Nation, 1995.

Chomsky, Noam, ‘Why should we devote attention to East Timor, a small and remote place that most Americans have never even heard of?’, 1980, and other published articles on East Timor at:

Cleary, Paul, Shakedown, Australia’s grab for Timor Oil, 2007.

Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR, active 2002 to 2005). Chega! The Report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR), Executive Summary, 2005 (full publication is over 2500 pages). Crimes against humanity: CAVR concluded the number who died of hunger and illness between 1975–1999 was 183 000.

Connelly, Sister Susan, blog on Australia and East Timor 1974–1999 (founded Mary McKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies).

Conway, Jude/Australians For A Free East Timor (AFFET, active 1991 to 2003 in Darwin). ‘AFFET Story’, history with photographs and captions at ‘Companion to East Timor’.

Conway, Jude (ed.), ‘Thirteen East Timorese women tell their life stories’ in Step by Step: Women of East Timor, Stories of Resistance and Survival, 2010.

Delaney, Dawn, ‘Echoes of War’, Eureka Street, vol. 14, no. 7, September 2004. On violence against women: (viewed 29 June 2016).

East Timor Action Network: see Kaplan, Hilary, ‘Western Solidarity with East Timor: An Interview with David Targan’ in Bastos, Cristiana (guest ed.), Parts of Asia, 2010.

Federer, Juan, The UN in East Timor: Building Timor Leste, a fragile state, 2005.

Fernandes, Clinton, The Independence of East Timor: Multi-Dimensional Perspectives – Occupation, Resistance, and International Political Activism, 2011.

Fitzpatrick, Daniel, Land claims in East Timor, 2002.

Fox, James J and Babo-Soares, Dionisio (eds), Out of Ashes: Destruction and Reconstruction of East Timor, 2000.

Franks, Emma, ‘Women and Resistance in East Timor: The Centre, as They Say, Knows Itself by the Margins’, Women’s Studies International Forum, no. 19, 1996.

Gunn, Geoffrey C, Timor Loro Sae: 500 Years, 1999, Livros do Oriente, Macau.

Gunn, Geoffrey C, Historical Dictionary of East Timor, 2011.

Gusmão, Kirsty Sword, A Woman of Independence: A Story of Love and the Birth of a New Nation, 2003.

Gusmão, Xanana, Timor Lives!: Speeches of Freedom and Independence, 2005.

Hicks, David, ‘Unachieved Syncretism: The Local-Level Political system in Portuguese Timor, 1966–1967’, Anthropos 78, 1983.

Jolliffe, Jill, ‘Postcolonial Blues: East Timor’s Lost Generation,’ The Monthly: Australian politics, society and culture, March 2011. On the geração foun (the ‘new generation’ or Santa Cruz generation) and street art.

Kammen, Douglas, Contested Origins: Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor, 2015.

Kuipers, Joel C, ‘Cultural Landscapes of War and Political Regeneration’, Journal of Asian Studies 47.1, February 1988.

Martinkus, John, A Dirty Little War: an eyewitness account of East Timor’s descent into hell, 1997–2000, 2001.

McMillan, Andrew, Death in Dili, 1992.

Ng, Norman, ‘Tears in Timor: Pages from a Photographer’s Notebook’, Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 82, issue 4, 2006.

Northern Territory Bar Association, Dili Conference papers, July 2014. Includes Ward, Christopher, ‘The Maritime Boundaries of East Timor: The Role of International Law’;

Richter, Anne, Arts and Crafts of Indonesia, 1993; reviewed Clark, John, Australian Book Review, December 1993.

Ripley, Amy, Tais of East Timor; on Dili Tais Market. D*Hub at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, December 2014; (viewed 6 July 2016).

Rony, Abdul Kohar and Wiarda, Iéda Siqueira, The Portuguese in Southeast Asia: Malacca, Moluccas, East Timor, 1997, Smithsonian Libraries.

Sherlock, Kevin, A bibliography of Timor: including East (formerly Portuguese) Timor, West (formerly Dutch) Timor and the Island of Roti, 1980.

Sherlock, Kevin, Timor Collection at Charles Darwin University Library. Regarded as the best on Timor history and the independence struggle. See Sherlock, Kevin, Obituary by Agio Pereira, October 2014.

Timor Sea Justice Campaign at:

Traube, Elizabeth, ‘A Bibliography of Timor by Kevin Sherlock’, The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 41, no. 4, August 1982.

Traube, Elizabeth, ‘East Timor: Five Years after the Indonesian Invasion’, Cultural Survival Occasional Paper 2, 1981.

Traube, Elizabeth, ‘Mambai Perspective on Colonialism and Decolonization’, in Carey, P and Bentley, G Carter (eds), East Timor at the Crossroads: The Forging of a Nation, 1995.

Turner, Michele, Telling: East Timor: Personal Testimonies 1942–1992, 1992. Timorese and non-Timorese oral histories. Foreword by Justice Michael Kirby.

UNESCO Timor Leste Country Programming Document, 2013–2014

Violence against women: see oral histories by by Winters: 1999; Conway: 2010. On the overwhelming impunity for sexual abuse during the occupation see Chega!, op. cit., 2005.

Waddington, John, CHART – Clearing House for Archival Records on Timor (Inc), Columban Mission Centre, Melbourne. Archivist – Manager, C-H-A-R-T-Clearing-House-for-Archival-Records-on-Timor-Inc/234113713317882

Wesley-Smith, Rob, East Timor Collection Preliminary List prepared by CHART, Timor Archives, op. cit.

Winters, Rebecca, Buibere: Voice of East Timorese Women, vol. 1, 1999.

World Bank, Road for Cultural Heritage: Policy Note on Cultural Heritage and Infrastructure Development in Timor-Leste, 2013, Washington DC. (viewed 1 July 2016).

Traditional art, architecture, heritage and museums: articles

Barrkman, Joanna, ‘Symbols of Power and Life: Indian Trade Textiles and their Inclusion into the Ritual Practices of Headhunting and Ceremonial Houses by the Atoin Meto of West Timor’, Kleinert, Sylvia (ed.), Crossing Cultures: art, politics and identity, 2006.

Barrkman, Joanna, ‘Museum Partnerships: Dili – Darwin Return’, 2007.

Barrkman, Joanna (guest ed.), TAASA Review: The Asian Arts Society of Australia, vol. 19, issue 4, December 2010. Includes ‘Editorial – Indonesia and Timor-Leste: Preserving Cultural Heritage’; (viewed 1 July 2016).

__ Barrkman, Joanna and Finch, Ann, The Art of Futus: From Light to Dark/Arte futus nian: husi naroman ba nakukun, exhibition catalogue, UNESCO, Jakarta, 2009.

__ Barrkman, Joanna, The art of futus: Ikat Weaving of Timor-Leste/Sene futus: Tenun ikat dari Timor-Leste, 2013, exhibition catalogue, Museum Tekstil Jakarta, 2013.

Batalha, Nuno and Gunter, Janet, ‘Ruy Cinatti’s Timor’, in Bastos, Cristiana (guest ed.), Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies 17/18, Parts of Asia, 2010.

Bennett, James, ‘Textiles of Timor: cloth that binds across borders.’ Art AsiaPacific, no. 18, 1998.

Bennett, James, ‘East Timor Museum: A Collection Abandoned’, Orientations, vol. 31, no. 9, 2000.

Bennett, James, ‘East Timor Museum’, Art AsiaPacific, no. 30, 2001.

Bennett, James, ‘A Role for “Keeping Places” in the Timor Sea Region’, Museum International, vol. 55, issue 3/4, 2003.

Bennett, James, review, From the Hands of Our Ancestors, 2009, Art Monthly Australia, no. 233, September 2010.

Bennett, James, ‘Unlikely Connections: The Makassans, the Yolngu and the Dutch East Indies Company’, TAASA Review, June 2013.

Bessière, Jean and André, Sylvie (eds), Littératures du Pacifique insulaire: Nouvelle-Calédonie, Nouvelle-Zélande, Timor Oriental, 2013.

Buckly, Chris, ‘Treasure Island: textiles from West Timor’, Hali, no. 174, 2012.

Coates, Karen J, ‘Timor’s Safe Havens’, Archaeology, vol. 56, no. 5, September/October 2003.

Coury, William Gerard, An exploration of the impact of economic development on Indonesian weavers and their handwoven textiles: Insana, West Timor, 1999.

Coury, William Gerard, Textiles of Insana, West Timor: Women Weaving and Village Development, 2004.

Crispin, Geoff, ‘Tales from West Timor’, Ceramics Technical, issue 27, November 2008.

Dhamija, Jasleen, ‘The Cosmology of Textiles’, Art & Asia Pacific, vol. 2, no. 2, 1995.

Fischer, Joseph (ed.), Threads of Tradition: Textiles of Indonesia and Sarawak, exhibition catalogue, Lowie Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.

Groot, Marjan, ‘Inscribing women and gender into histories and reception of design, crafts, and decorative arts of small-scale non-European cultures’, Journal of Art Historiography, vol. 12, June 2015.

Hadlow, Ruth, ‘A wealth of choice in West Timor’, TAASA Review, vol. 15, no. 4;

Hamilton, Roy W et al., Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia, DVD, 2012.

Hicks, David, ‘Afterword: glimpses of alternatives – the Uma Lulik of East Timor’, Social Analysis, vol. 52, no. 1, 2008.

Hicks, David, ‘Space, Motion, and Symbol in Tetum Religion’, in Smith Kipp, Rita & Rodgers, Susan (eds), Indonesian Religions in Transition, 1987.

Hout, Itie van, ‘Bird motifs in Ikats from Sumba and Timor’, Oriental Art, vol. 45, no. 2, 1999.

Jolliffe, Jill, ‘Dili: A city in search of its soul’.

Kennard, S Jefferson III, ‘Timorese Tribal Bracelets: A Cultural Perspective’, Arts of Asia, no. 25, 1995.

Leibrick, Fiona, Motif motif Biboki: Textiles from West Timor, 1993, Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory.

Leibrick, Fiona, Binding Culture into Thread: Textile arts of Biboki, West Timor, exhibition catalogue, Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory and the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Territory University, 1994.

Liang, Kaixin and Xiaobin, Neo, Changing Tais: Fabric of a Nation, 2007.

Mackenzie, Helen F, ‘A Group of Primitive Carvings in Wood and Horn’, Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago (1907–1951), vol. 24, no. 1, January 1930.

Majlis, Brigitte Khan, ‘The Art of Indonesian Textiles: The E M Bakwin Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago’, catalogue, in Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, vol. 33, no. 2, Fall 2007.

Morgan, Rachael, Biboki weavers visit Maningrida. Report of the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation of a cultural exchange with Biboki weavers, West Timor to Maningrida and surrounding outstations, November 1995.

Phillips, Kristin and Yee, Sandra, ‘Conservation and care of cultural collections: Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste partnerships’, in TAASA Review, vol. 19, issue 4, 2010.

Reid, A, ‘From Cultures at Crossroads’, Southeast Asian Textiles from the Australian National Gallery, 1992.

Sarmento, Eugenio, ‘The Sacred House of Timor-Leste’, TAASA Review, vol. 19, no. 4.

Saunders, Kim Jane, Contemporary Tie and Dye Textiles of Indonesia, 1997.

Solyom, Garrett and Bronwen, Textiles of the Indonesian Archipelago, exhibition catalogue, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1973.

TAASA Review: The Asian Arts Society of Australia, December 2010, vol 19, issue 4. Barrkman, Joanna (guest ed.); (viewed 1 July 2016).

The Living Heritage of Communities in Timor-Leste, UNESCO and Timor-Leste Secretariat of State for Arts and Culture of the Ministry of Tourism, National Geographic Traveler, 2014.

Traube, Elizabeth G, ‘Mambai Rituals of Black and White’ in James J. Fox (ed.), The Flow of Life: Essays on Eastern Indonesia, 1980.

von Sturmer, John (ed.), Tuba Rai metin: firmly gripping the earth, exhibition catalogue, East Timor Cultural Centre Inc., Fairfield NSW, 1996. Essays by Loxley, A, Viegas, A, & Pereira Maia, V.

Yeager, Ruth Marie and Jacobson, Ivan, Textiles of Western Timor Regional Variations in Historical Perspective, c. 2002.

Culture, traditional art, architecture and heritage: books
Almeida, Antonio, Orient Portuguese Speaking, 1994.

Cinatti, Ruy, Motivos Artísticos Timorenses e sua Integração, 1987.

Cinatti, Ruy et al., Arquitectura Timorense, 1987. Cinatti and collaborators identify seven architectural types: in the mountains the Bobonaro and Maubisse styles; upper plateau Bacau and Laulem; and the last three in the lowlands, the Viqueque, Suai and the Oecussi styles.

Hamilton, Roy W and Barrkman, Joanna (eds), Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea, Fowler Museum, University of California, 2015. Contributions by Ruth Barnes, Joanna Barrkman, Anthony B Cunningham, Anne Finch, Jill Forshee, Roy W Hamilton, Jean Howe, William Ingram, Willy Daos Kadati, I Made Maduarta, Marie-Louise Nabholz-Kartaschoff, Rosália Elisa Madeira Soares, Yohannes Nahak Taromi, Jose Ximenes. Examines twenty different textile traditions.

Leal, Joao, Etnografias portuguesas (1870–1970). Cultura popular e identidade nacional, 2000.

Matos, Patrícia Ferraz de, The Colours of the Empire: Racialized Representations during Portuguese Colonialism, trans. by Mark Ayton, 2013. See ‘Exhibiting the Empire, Imagining the Nation: Representations of the Colonies and the Overseas Portuguese in the Great Exhibitions’.

Maxwell, Robyn, Textiles of Southeast Asia; Tradition, Trade and Transformation, 1990.

Anthropology, archaeology (including rock painting)

Allen, Jim, ‘The Pre-Austronesian Settlement of Island Melanesia: Implications for Lapita Archaeology’, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, vol. 86, no. 5, Prehistoric Settlement of the Pacific, 1996.

Bednarik, Robert G, ‘The Initial Peopling of Wallacea and Sahul’, Anthropos, 1997.

Boxer, C R, ‘Peoples and Languages of Timor’ (continued from vol. XIV), History Today 10.5, 1 May, 1960.

Capell, A, ‘Peoples and Languages of Timor’, Oceania 15, January 1, 1944.

Cinatti, Ruy, ‘The rock art of Timor’, Colloquium, April 1963.

Clark, Geoffrey, ‘Shards of Meaning: Archaeology and the Melanesia-Polynesia Divide, Dumont d’Urville’s Divisions of Oceania: Fundamental Precincts or Arbitrary Constructs?’, The Journal of Pacific History, vol. 38, no. 2, Sep., 2003

Davidson, D S, ‘Northwestern Australia and the Question of Influences from the East Indies’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 58, no. 1, March 1938.

Ellen, Roy F and Glover I C, ‘Pottery Manufacture: the Historical Implications’, Man, New Series, vol. 9, no. 3, September 1974.

Fenner, Jack N and Bulbeck, David, ‘Tivo Clocks: A Comparison of Ceramic and Radiocarbon Dates at Macapainara, East Timor’, Asian Perspectives: Journal of Archeology for Asia & the Pacific, vol. 52, issue 1, Spring 2013.

Florey, Margaret J (ed.), Endangered Languages of Austronesia, 2010.

Forbes, H O, ‘On the Ethnology of Timor-Laut’, The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 13, 1884.

Forbes, H O, ‘On Some of the Tribes of the Island of Timor’, The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 13, 1884.

Forshee, Jill, ‘Tracing Troubled Times: Objects of Value and Narratives of Loss from Sumba and Timor Islands’, Indonesia, no. 74, October 2002.

Fox, James J and Traube, E, ‘Cosmology and Social Life: Ritual Exchange Among the Mambai of East Timor’, Oceania 51.1, 1 September 1980.

Glover, Ian, ‘Radiocarbon Dates from Portuguese Timor’, Archaeology & Physical Anthropology in Oceania, vol. 4, no. 2, July 1969.

Gunn, Geoffrey C, ‘Timor-Leste (Former Portuguese East Timor): From Colonial Anthropology to an Anthropology of Colonialism’, Review (Fernand Braudel Center), vol. 32, no. 3, 2009.

Hicks, David, ‘Art and Religion on Timor’, in Barbier, Jean Paul and

Newton, Douglas (eds), Islands and Ancestors: Indigenous Styles of Southeast Asia, 1988.

Hicks, David, ‘Making the King Divine: A Case Study in Ritual Regicide from Timor’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1996.

Hicks, David, ‘Community and Nation-State in East Timor: A View from the Periphery’, Anthropology Today 23, no. 1, 2007.

Hicks, David, ‘Giving to the Gods on Timor: Reassessing Mauss on Hierarchy and Divinity’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 13, no. 1, 2007.

Hicks, David, ‘Blood, Violence, and Gender Alignment: Cockfighting and Kickfighting In East Timor’, Cambridge Anthropology, vol. 26, no. 3, 2006/2007.

Jennaway, Megan, ‘Aquatic Identities, Fluid Economies: Water Affinities and Authenticating Narratives of Belonging in East Timorese Myth and Ritual’, Oceania, vol. 78, no. 1, Water Ways: Competition, Communality and Process in the Use and Management of Water, March 2008.

Kehi, Balthasar and Palmer, Lisa, ‘Hamatak halirin: The cosmological and socio-ecological roles of water in Koba Lima, Timor’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, vol. 168, no. 4, 2012.

Kim, Nam C, ‘Asian Perspectives’, Journal of Archeology for Asia & the Pacific, vol. 52, issue 2, Fall 2013.

Langley, M and O’Connor, Sue, ‘6500-Year-old Nassarius shell appliques in Timor-Leste: technological and use wear analyses’, Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 62, 2015.

Lape, Peter V, ‘Chronology of Fortified Settlements in East Timor’, Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 1.2, Dec 2006.

Lape, Peter V, ‘On the Use of Archaeology and History in Island Southeast Asia’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 45, No. 4, Excavating the Relations between Archaeology and History in the Study of Pre-Modern Asia [Part 1], 2002.

Lape, Peter V and Chin-yunga, Chao, ‘Fortification as a Human Response to Late Holocene Climate Change in East Timor’, Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 43, no. 1, ‘Climate Change and Archaeology in the Pacific – Part II’, April 2008.

Latinis, D Kyle, ‘The Development of Subsistence System Models for Island Southeast Asia and near Oceania: The Nature and Role of Arboriculture and Arboreal-Based Economies’, World Archaeology, vol. 32, no. 1, Archaeology in Southeast Asia, June 2000.

McWilliam, Andrew, Paths of origin, gates of life: a study of place and precedence in southwest Timor, 2002.

McWilliam, Andrew, ‘Harbouring Traditions in East Timor: Marginality in a Lowland Entrepôt’, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 41, no. 6, November 2007.

McWilliam, Andrew and Traube, Elizabeth G (eds), Land and life in Timor-Leste: Ethnographic Essays, 2011.

O’Connell, James F and Allen, Jim, ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Modelling the colonisation of Sahul’, Australian Archaeology, no. 74, June 2012.

O’Connor, Sue, Spriggs, Matthew and Veth, Peter, ‘Direct Dating of Shell Beads from Lene Hara Cave, East Timor’, Australian Archaeology, no. 55, December 2002.

O’Connor, Sue and Aplin, Ken, ‘A Matter of Balance: An Overview of Pleistocene Occupation History and the Impact of the Last Glacial Phase in East Timor and the Ara Islands, Eastern Indonesia’, Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 42, no. 3, Climate Change and Archaeology in the Pacific – Part I, October 2007.

O’Connor, Sue and Balme, Jane, ‘Port Scene’: Identity and Rock Art of the Inland Southern Kimberley, Western Australia’, Rock Art Research, vol. 32 issue 1, May 2015.

O’Connor, Sue, ‘Nine New Painted Rock Art Sites from East Timor in the Context of the Western Pacific Region’, Asian Perspectives: Journal of Archeology for Asia & the Pacific, vol. 42 no. 1, 2003.

O’Connor, Sue et al., ‘Cave Archaeology And Sampling Issues In The Tropics: A Case Study from Lene Hara Cave, a 42 000 Year Old Occupation Site in East Timor, Island Southeast Asia’, Australian Archaeology, no. 71, December 2010.

O’Connor, Sue and Hiscock, P, ‘The Peopling of Sahul and Near Oceania’, in Cochrane, Ethan and Hunt, Terry (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Oceania, 2014.

O’Connor, Sue and Oliveira, Nuna Vasco, ‘Inter- and Intraregional Variation in the Austronesian Painting Tradition: A View from East Timor’, Asian Perspectives: Journal of Archaeology for Asia & the Pacific, vol. 46, no. 2. 2007.

O’Connor, Sue and Veth, Peter, ‘Early Holocene shell fish hooks from Lene Hara Cave, East Timor establish complex fishing technology was in use in Island South East Asia five thousand years before Austronesian settlement’, Antiquity 79.304, June 2005.

O’Connor, Sue et al., ‘Faces of the ancestors revealed: discovery and dating of a Pleistocene-age petroglyph in Lene Hara Cave, East Timor’, Antiquity 84.325, September 2010.

O’Connor, Sue, ‘New evidence from East Timor contributes to our understanding of earliest modern human colonisation east of the Sunda Shelf’, Antiquity, 81.313, September 2007.

O’Connor, Sue and Bulbeck, F, ‘Homo Sapiens Societies in Indonesia and South-Eastern Asia’, in Cummings, Vicki,

Jordan, Peter and Zvelebil, Marek (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter- Gatherers, 2014.

Oka, Rahul and Kusimba, Chapurukha M, ‘The Archaeology of Trading Systems, Part 1: Towards a New Trade Synthesis’, Journal of Archaeological Research, vol. 16, no. 4, December 2008.

Pannell, Sandra and O’Connor, Sue, ‘Toward a Cultural Topography of Cave Use in East Timor: A Preliminary Study’, Asian Perspectives, vol. 44, no. 1, ‘The Human Use of Caves in Peninsular and Island Southeast Asia’, Spring 2005.

Przywolnik, Kathryn, ‘Shell Artefacts from Northern Cape Range Peninsula, Northwest Western Australia’, Australian Archaeology, no. 56, June 2003.

Roque, Ricardo (ed.), Engaging a colonial knowledge: reading European archives in world history, 2012.

Roque, Ricardo, Head hunting and colonialism: anthropology and the circulation of human skulls in the Portuguese Empire, 1870–1930, 2010.

Santos, Gonçalo, ‘The Birth of Physical Anthropology in Late Imperial Portugal’, Current Anthropology, vol. 53, no. S5.

Schulte Nordholt, H G, The Political System of the Atoni of Timor, 1971.

Schulte Nordholt, H G, ‘The Symbolic Classification of the Atoni of Timor’, in Fox, James J, The Flow of Life, 1980.

Spillett, P, ‘The pre-colonial history of the island of Timor together with some notes on the Makassan influence in the island’, Unpublished manuscript, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, Darwin, 2002.

Taçon, Paul S C; May, Sally K; Fallon, Stewart J; Travers, Meg; Wesley, Daryl and Lamilami, Ronald, ‘A Minimum Age for Early Depictions of Southeast Asian Praus: in the Rock Art of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory’, Australian Archaeology, no. 71, December 2010.

Taçon, Paul et al., ‘The global implications of the early surviving rock art of greater Southeast Asia’, Antiquity, vol. 88, Issue 342, December 2014.

Theden-Ringl, Fenja; Fenner, Jack N; Wesley, Daryl and Lamilami, Ronald, ‘Buried on Foreign Shores: Isotope Analysis of the Origin of Human Remains Recovered from a Macassan Site in Arnhem Land’, Australian Archaeology, no. 73, December 2011.

Thiel, Barbara, ‘Early Settlement of the Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, and Australia–New Guinea: A New Hypothesis’, Current Anthropology, vol. 28, no. 2, April 1987.

Tiffin, Sarah, ‘Java’s Ruined Candis and the British Picturesque Ideal’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, vol. 72, no. 3, 2009.

Traube, Elizabeth G, Ritual Exchange among the Mambai of East Timor: Gifts of Life and Death, 1977.

Traube, Elizabeth G, Cosmology and Social Life: Ritual Exchange Among the Mambai of East Timor, 1986.

Tsintjilonis, Dimitri, ‘The flow of life in Buntao: Southeast Asian animism reconsidered’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, vol. 160, no. 4, 2004.

van Heekeren, H R, The Stone Age of Indonesia, 1951/1972.

Veth, Peter; Spriggs, Matthew and O’Connor, Sue, ‘Continuity in Tropical Cave Use: Examples from East Timor and the Aru Islands, Maluku’, Asian Perspectives: Journal of Archeology for Asia & the Pacific, vol. 44, issue 1, Spring 2005.

Wehali, Tom Therik, The Female Land: Traditions of a Timorese Ritual Centre, 2004.

Contemporary art post-1975

Barrkman, Joanna, ‘Back from the Brink: Culture in Timor-Leste’, Artlink, vol. 28, no. 4, 2008.

Bexley, Angie, Youth at the crossroads. The politics of identity and belonging in Timor-Leste, unpublished PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, 2009.

Bexley, Angie, ‘Independence and Indigenous Film: The Framing of Timor-Leste’ in Ingawanij, May Adalol and McKay, Benjamin (eds), Glimpses of freedom: Independent Cinema in Southeast Asia, 2012.

Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia, Special Issue, ‘Arte, agência e efeitos de poder em Timor-Leste/Art Agency and power effects in East Timor’, vol. 4, no. 1, 2015; (viewed 1 July 2016).

__ Arthur, Catherine Elizabeth, ‘Writing National Identity on the Wall: the Geração Foun, Street Art and Language Choices in Timor-Leste’.

__ Bexley, Angie, ‘A Contingent Agency: Gembel and the Print- Making Project’.

__ Kelly, Silva and Lúcio Sousa, ‘Art, agency and power effects in East Timor: provocations’.

__ Veiga, Leonor, ‘Movimentu Kultura in Timor-Leste: Maria Madeira’s “agency”’.

Calthorpe, Jane, ‘Tradition and Innovation in East Timor Ceramics’, Ceramics Technical, issue 18, 2004.

Gartrell, Adam and Tancred, Christian, ‘Arte Moris: free art school in Dili, East Timor’, Art Monthly Australia, no. 177, 2005.

Hadlow, Ruth, ‘Exercises In In/Coherence And Dis/Location: Threading Thoughts Together Between Languages And Cultures’, at (viewed 29 June 2016).

Hadlow, Ruth, ‘The Library of Translation Exercises: dis/location and creative practice in West Timor’, Art Monthly Australia, no. 244, 2011.

Hadlow, Ruth, ‘Jelek In East Timor’, Artlink, vol. 29, no. 2, 2009.

Hoffie, Pat, ‘Beyond the parlour games: we refuse to become victims.’ Artlink, vol. 27, no. 4, 2007.

Holder, Jo, ‘An East Timorese Exhibition in Australia’, Art AsiaPacific, no. 14, 1997.

Holder, Jo, ‘Elastic Cultural Activism’, Imprint, Print Council of Australia, Winter, vol. 50, no. 2, 2015.

Jacob, Mary Jane, ‘The Real Return’, catalogue essay for Elastic/ Borracha/Elástico, 2016.

Jubelin, Narelle, exhibition catalogue, ECRU, curator Isabel Carlos, Instituto de Arte Contemporanea, Lisbon, 1998.

Jubelin, Narelle, exhibition catalogue, Plantas e Plantas [Plants & Plans], curator Isabel Carlos, CAM Fundação Calouste Gilbenkian, Lisbon, 2013.

Mandelson, Alix, ‘Supporting the women weavers of East Timor’, TAASA Review, vol. 15, no. 4 December 2006; (viewed 29 June 2016).

Marianto, M. Dwi, ‘Shifts and Transitions on Indonesian Art and Society’, Artlink, vol. 20, no. 2, 2002. (Includes call for APT3 boycott, 1999.)

Nicholson, Tom, Action for another library, exhibition catalogue, 2006 Biennale of Sydney.

Palazón, David, Timor Rungaranga, photobook, 2016.

Parkinson, Chris, Peace of Wall: Street Art from East Timor, 2010.

Phipps, Jennifer, ‘Power and Art in East Timor’, Artlink, vol. 28, no 1, 2008.

Sinaga, D, Taring Padi: Not for the sake of a fine arts discourse.

Taring Padi: Seni membongkar tirani, 2011.

Small, Belinda, ‘A death in the Asia Pacific: three documentaries by Annie Goldson’, Studies in Documentary Film, vol. 8, no. 1, 2014

Exhibitions and catalogues – post-independence (2002)

Post-independence, curating Timorese art has focused on textiles in order to reconstruct a destroyed national collection, with exhibitions held in Darwin, Dili (2006 and 2009), Jakarta (2013) and Fowler Museum at UCLA, USA (2014). Contemporary Timorese art exhibitions are open to political discourses and insist on the relevance of tradition and culture. In the absence of infrastructure, exhibitions are in hotels or at community-based art schools.

2003: Timor a Arte na Tela, Instituto Camões, in collaboration with Fundação Oriente; Restoration of Independence Exhibition at Hotel Dili; Arte Moris, Centro Juvenil Padre António Vieira, Taibessi; Donors Conference for East Timor, Hotel Timor; Third Anniversary Celebration of the Xanana Gusmão Reading Room; exhibition and workshops for the Catholic College Opening Event of Fundação São José, Baucau.

2004: Exhibition and events celebrating East Timor’s Independence Restoration Anniversary at the Timorese Cultural Center Uma Fukun.

2005: Être: The Face of Human Rights, photo exhibition curated by Lars Muller at Arte Moris exhibition halls, with paintings from Arte Moris and documentaries by Centro Audiovisual, Max Stahl Timor Leste. Music by the Arte Moris Rabenta Stomp Band, Arte Moris HaKa Djembe group and Galaxy, with performances by Bibi Bulak.

2005: Living Culture – Cultura Moris, an ethnographic exhibition at Arte Moris exhibition halls, from a rare national collection of ancient artifacts from Timor-Leste combined with the permanent collection of contemporary artworks from Arte Moris. Curated by Dr Phyllis Ferguson, Oxford University.

2005: Maria Madeira, first solo exhibition in Timor-Leste, at Hotel Timor, opened by First Lady, Kirsty Sword Gusmão and supported by the Embassy of Australia in Dili.

2009: Husi Bei Ala Timor Sira Nia Liman: From the Hands of our Ancestors. Art and Craft from Timor Leste, Museum and Art Gallery, Northern Territory in partnership with Dirreccao Nacional da Cultura, Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste. Exhibition of textiles, ceramics, contemporary painting, woodcarving and body adornment of Timor-Leste. Joanna Barrkman (ed.), exhibition catalogue, 2008.

2009: The art of futus: from light to dark/Arte futus nian: husi naroman ba nakukun, Casa Europa, Dili, Timor-Leste. Curated by Joanna Barrkman and Anne Finch.

2010: Inspiration from Near and Far: Timorese Weavers and their Art, Expozisaun Kolesaun Tais Timor Aid at Avenida dos Direitos Humanos Bidau, Lecidere, Dili.

2010: Peace of Wall, curator Chris Parkinson. Images and words on the walls of Timor-Leste (2006–2010), touring exhibition and blog;

2012: Revisiting Marobo’s Unique Kemak Culture, exhibition in Marobo, includes photographs, film and recording by anthropologist Brigitte Clamagirand who worked in Marobo in 1968. Curated by Joanna Barkmann and Timor Aid.

2014: Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea, Fowler Museum at UCLA, September 7, 2014 – January 4, 2015. Curated by Roy W Hamilton and Joanna Barrkman.

Selected exhibitions and catalogues — Timor-Leste in Australia

In Australia tais and weaving exhibitions are hosted by local councils or volunteer groups to raise reconstruction funds. Only major or historical exhibitions are documented here.

1990: Eden to Paradise, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.

1990: East Timor 1974–1990, A photographic perspective of the continuing struggle for independence, 24HR Art, now Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin. Works by photojournalists Jenny Groves (Aus), Elaine Brière (East Timor Alert Network in Canada), Mel Sylvester and Major Samuel Kruger (taken in 1975), posters (1974 to 1990) from the collection of Darwin-based Rob Wesley-Smith (including works by Chips Mackinolty and Therese Ritchie).

1992: East Timor 1942–1992. A Retrospective Photographic Exhibition, devised and curated by Oliver Strewe, Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney; opened 14 June by Emilia Gusmão (speech translated from Portuguese and made available by Fretilin Committee in NSW). Showing works of photographers Elaine Brière, Margaret King-Boyes, Sven Kochs, Jenny Groves, Cecil Holmes, Kia Mistilis, Damien Parer, Bob Reid, Max Stahl, Oliver Strewe, Mel Sylvester, Francisco Vidinha. The exhibition included photographs smuggled out of East Timor by photographers who need to remain anonymous.

1996: Tuba Rai metin: firmly gripping the earth, exhibition Initiated by Albertina Viegas. Artists Veronica Pereira Maia, Albertina Viegas; builders Antonio Maia, Risto Nousiainen, Gary Proctor and others. Darwin Fringe Festival, 10–15 August

1996. Sydney events at the MCA (20–28 September 1996) and Casula Powerhouse (4–23 November 1996), Canberra School of Art (opening 11 September 1997).

1999: Against the wind: An Exhibition of Banners, Artback NT touring show facilitated by Joanna Barrkman with communities in the Northern Territory, showed at Batchelor College, Batchelor (NT) then NCCA Darwin.

c. 2002: Timor Nia Klamar (Spirit or Soul of Timor), 30 September, New Guinea Arts, Sydney. Organised by Jenni Kanaley at the request of Bishop Belo. Aim ‘to restore and preserve the unique traditional arts and crafts of Timor’.

2004: CDUSU Art Auction, exhibition in Darwin and visit of five Arte Moris senior students, invited by the Charles Darwin University Students’ Union and The Darwin-Dili Sister City Committee.

2004, 2006: Arte Moris. Living Art from Timor, exhibition in Sydney, visit and courses for ten senior students, invited by College of Fine Art, New South Wales University. Coordinator Diane Losche. Followed by exhibition and music session with Timorese and Australian artists at The Knot Gallery, Surry Hills.

2005: Children of the Crocodile – The Australia East Timor Story, exhibition, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney.

2006: Exhibition organised by Arte Moris at the Embassy of Timor-Leste to Australia to celebrate November 28, Proclamation Day of Independence in 1975.

2007: heART of Timor-Leste, Gordon Gallery of TAFE Geelong, Victoria. Exhibition organised by Arte Moris.

2008: Gembel Art printmaking project with artist Bayu Widodo, of Taring Padi, a month-long series of workshops in Dili and exhibition, org. by Angie Bexley, Australian anthropologist.

2008: Ta Teut Amarasi – Awakening: Contemporary textiles and prints based on the cultural traditions of Amarasi, West Timor, Nomad Art Darwin, Darwin Festival (and tour). Papermaking and print project with artist Winsome Jobling.

2010: Honouring Our Ancestors: Remembering Timor Leste, Immigration Museum, Community Exhibition Program, Melbourne, 19 September – 10 April 2010. Exhibition catalogue, 12 pp.

2012: Kitchen Talks: The Food and Culture of Timor Leste, exhibition at St Kilda Town Hall. Photographer Jorge de Araujo and writer Carmelita Gomes.

2013: Tony Amaral, Faces of East Timor, McGlade Gallery Australian Catholic University, Sydney. Curated by Annalise Vogel, with Tristan Velasco; photographic exhibition.

2015: Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea, Fowler Museum at UCLA. Curated by Roy W Hamilton, Senior Curator of Asian and Pacific Collections, Fowler Museum, and Joanna Barrkman, independent Australian curator. Exhibition of fifty cloths, including many from the Fowler Museum.

Exhibitions in Australia on cross-cultural experience including Timor-Leste artists

1995: Weavers of Biboki/Weavers of Maningrida, exchange of weavers from Yayasan Tafean Pah, Biboki, West Timor to Maningrida and surrounding outstations, Central Arnhem Land; weavers Ibu Yasinta Meta and Ibu Maria Abuk. See Report.

2004: Isle of Refuge, toured by Ivan Dougherty Gallery, UNSW College of Fine Art to Monash University Museum of Art. Curated by Ashley Carruthers, Rilka Oakley and My Le Thi. Includes work of Albertina Viegas.

2008: Thresholds of Tolerance, Caroline Turner and David Williams (eds), catalogue of a series of three human rights exhibitions and conferences in Canberra, Australian National University and National Museum of Australia. Includes large collaborative lino print by Culture Kitchen, Canberra artists Jon Priadi (Taring Padi), Julian Laffan, Bernie Slater, Angie Bexley and Natasha Fijn with Osme Gonsalves (East Timor) and Deni Pancatriana (Taring Padi). See David Williams and Angie Bexley and the Artists, ‘Of Collections, Prints and Politics: We Refuse to Become Victims’.

2011: Taring Padi, Dili printmaking workshops held to apply indigenous concepts such as helping one another/ajuda malu (Bexley: 2007, 2009). See Taring Padi: Seni Membongkar Tirani/Taring Padi: Art Smashing Tyranny, Yogyakarta, 2011.

2014: Elastic/Borracha Mobile Residency: Darwin<>Dili, Chan Contemporary Art Space, Darwin, 2014, presented by The Northern Centre for Contemporary Art; Elastic/Borracha Mobile Residency: Darwin<>Sydney<>Dili, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney, 2014. Download as pdf 

Timor-Leste cultural development

The Secretariat for Arts and Culture, now part of the Ministry of Tourism, develops policies for past and present practices and the creation of a national narrative to deploy significant items of tradition, custom or kultura. Current focus is on building aNational Library and Cultural Center and Academy of Arts and Creative Cultural Industries of Timor-Leste to ‘preserve our culture and promote our tourism to the country’s development’. See East Timorese art is related to a small tourist market, in both colonial and post-colonial periods. A network of district arts officers is supported. Weaving is supported as income generation work for women and can be viewed at the Tais Market in Dili. The uma lulik classification process is being undertaken in conjunction with UNESCO. The best known house is one in the province of Lospalos.

Artists, artist collectives (sanggar), art schools and cultural centres

Academy of Creative Industries/Akademia Arte no Industria Kriativa: a project co-founded by Dili design practice IDA, Catalan designer/film maker David Palaz.n with collaborator Victor De Sousa and Griffith University, Brisbane. 2011 Dili conference program.

Afalyca Community Art School: established 2007 in Baucau, Timor-Leste’s second-largest city; initially an outpost of Arte Moris. A free art school for young people. Helped organise Bacau Music and Art Festival 2013. They have since achieved NGO status and established ties with Backspace Gallery, Ballarat and Box Hill Community Arts Centre, Victoria. (viewed June 2016).

Afonso Bareto, Carlotta: weaver, lives Atu Aben, Bobonaro District. Created a contemporary tais based on an illustration by French anthropologist Brigitte Clamagirand for The art of futus: Ikat Weaving of Timor-Leste/Sene futus: Tenun ikat dari Timor-Leste, exhibition, Museum Tekstil Jakarta. 2013. See exhibition catalogue p. 19.

Amaral, Tony (José de Jesus): painter and teacher, born in Timor-Leste in 1984 and grew up in Dili, during the Indonesian occupation. His first teacher was Indonesian artist Yahya Lambert, who lives in Timor-Leste. One of the first students of Arte Moris school. Bachelor of Fine Art at the National Art School in Sydney (awarded the Chroma Prize for Painting in his final year) in 2011. Artistic director of Atre Moris. Solo exhibitions: Dame ba rai nebe’e maka iha problema (‘Peace to this troubled land’), Dili, 2011; At The Vanishing Point, Sydney, 2012; 15th Asian Biennale in Bangladesh, 2012; McGlade Gallery, Australian Catholic University, 2013. Visiting Research Fellow Australian Catholic University, School of Arts and Sciences (NSW/ACT), 2013; resident artist Darwin Community Arts Centre’s Asia in Darwin program (with Etson Caminha), 2015.

Arte Moris: founded early 2003 (by Swiss artists Luca and Gabriella Gansser) in former premises of the National Museum in Comoro, near Dili, Arte Moris is a non-profit art school co-located with theatre troupe Bibi Bulak that has undertaken many civic and peace-building workshops and projects. Arte Moris manages art sales in Dili hotels Vasco da Gama Hotel, Hotel Timor, Hotel Esplanada (ongoing). The active first generation are Gabriela Carrascalão, João Bosco, Gelly Neves and Sebastian Silva (no longer active). Next generation include Victor De Sousa, Zito Soares da Silva, Alfeo Sanchez Pereira and Etson Arintes da Costa Caminha. A multicultural group of teachers include David Palazón and Maria Madeira.

Batista, Jacinto: painter, exhibited Sentru Kulturál Xanana, Dili 18 August to 18 September 2015. Catalogue 12 pp, photos of 14 paintings with captions and descriptions in English and Tetun.

Bosco, João: Painter, charcoal drawings.

Caminha, Etson: visual artist, musician, performer, educator and collaborator. Developed a number of stomp bands, created numerous murals and works of street art. Exhibited and painted walls (with Alfeo Sanches and Xisto da Silva) for the launch of Peace of Wall: Street Art from East Timor, for Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Melbourne, 2014. Resident artist Darwin Community Arts Centre Asia in Darwin program (with Tony Amaral), 2015.

Carocho, Gibreal Dias Soares: painter, born 1983, Suai, Covalima.

Cinatti, Ruy: Portuguese scholar, anthropologist and researcher, who taught at the Dili High School in Lahane in 1947. Cinatti’s students publicly exhibited their works depicting everyday scenes. The most renowned are José Martins Branco, Daniel Peloi, Sequito Calsona and João Soriano.

Da Silva, Jose Cancio (Abe): illustrated From the Hands of our Ancestors, 2009, op. cit., pp. 149–151.

Da Silva, Xisto: Exhibited and painted walls (with Etson Caminha and Alfeo Sanches) for the launch of Peace of Wall: Street Art from East Timor, for Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Melbourne, 2014.

Carrascalão, Gabriela: painter, journalist, born Dili 1949. Greatgranddaughter of the last queen of Timor, the Valilale kingdom, witnessed the massacre of family and friends and took refuge in Australia. Married José Cid, in 2013 after the two met in 1983 in Melbourne where Carrascalão was a journalist and radio presenter. Self-taught with influences from Salvador Dali and Arthur Boyd to contemporary Portuguese painters Júlio Pomar, Paula Rego and Gil Teixeira Lopes. Carrascalão works on large-scale canvases, with brushwork resembling watercolour; the compositions display groups of people, mostly women, dressed traditionally. Lives Portugal.

Da Costa, Marqy: Uma Lulik sculpture installed at the Ballarat Library, Victoria to celebrate East Timor’s tenth anniversary of independence and sister city relations. ‘Art Celebrates East Timor’, The Courier [Ballarat], 16 December 2012. (viewed 1 July 2016).

Danabere, Iliwatu: director of Arte Moris free art school and an advocate of Movimentu Kultura and street art.

De Sousa, Victor Pereira: artist and filmmaker. Paintings combine traditional cultural forms and design motifs with strong ideas about cultural renewal. Film works document Timorese traditional weaving, architecture and cultural belief. His Uma Lulik (Sacred House), premiered at the 2011 Brisbane International Film Festival, is the first film by an indigenous Timorese. Victor studied at Arte Moris and was invited to work as Artist in Residence at Griffith University Film School in Brisbane (2010). He is part of the Academy of Creative Industries project and Dili design practice IDA founded by Catalan designer/film maker David Palazón. He lives in Dili and Venilale. See Victor De Sousa, Uma Lulik (Sacred House), 2011, projection and DVD, 60 minutes; Part 2 of a proposed trilogy. (viewed 1 July 2016).

Gembel Art Collective: street artists in Dili who worked with Taring Padi, a Yogyakarta-based art collective established in 1998, and the brief Culture Kitchen (printmakers Yogyakarta/ Dili/Canberra) on dramatic linoprints as well as a range of paintings and carvings. Gembel, an Indonesian word that means vagrant or vagabond, ‘illustrates its sense of marginality and liminality’ (Bexley, 2015). Gembel artists have taken up Taring Padi’s well-known woodcut print style engaging with social and political issues, but members work in various other media. Artists include Natalino dos Rais Pires, Januário Parada (Iino). See exhibition catalogue Thresholds of Tolerance, Caroline Turner and David Williams (eds), Canberra, 2007; Taring Padi: Not for the sake of a fine arts discourse, Yogjakarta, 2011, op. cit.; Angie Bexley op. cit.

Gomes, Carmelita: artist, photographer and writer, lives Melbourne. Wrote Kitchen Talks: the food and culture of Timor Leste, 2010.

Maia, Antonia: born Fatukado, Lacluta, East Timor, in 1928; married to Veronica Pereira Maia. In 1985, arrived in Darwin, Australia and active in maintaining Timorese culture through dance, gardening, craft.

Madeira, Maria: artist, teacher and cultural adviser committed to conveying East Timor’s culture and traditions to future generations. Born in Timor-Leste in 1969, part of 1975 diaspora; exile in Portugal (1976–83) and Australia (1983–2000). Studied at Curtin University (BA Fine Arts 1991, Graduate Diploma of Education [Major in Art] 1993) and at Murdoch University (BA in Political Science, 1996). Fluent in English, Portuguese and Tetum, studying Bahasa Indonesian. Interpreter and translator United Nations investigating Crimes Against Humanity and for CAVR, 1991. Volunteer art teacher at the Arte Moris art school in Dili and a founder of Movimentu Kultura with work that engages Timorese tradition and different artistic communities. She has exhibited in Australia, Portugal, Macau, Brazil, China, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Her exhibition Ina Lou (Mother Earth) at Galeri Cipta II in Central Jakarta is the first solo exhibition by a Timorese woman in Indonesia. See Veiga,Leonor, ‘Movimentu Kultura in Timor-Leste: Maria Madeira’s “agency” ’, op . cit.; Ina Lou: Dear Mother Earth/ Ibu Pertiwi, Galeri Cipta II, Jakarta, 2014, exhibition catalogue; electronic catalogue link: (viewed 6 July 2016).

Movimentu Kultura: artists within Timor-Leste and abroad incorporated elements from the country’s culture that are perceived as exclusively Timorese such as tais (the national cloth) and the Uma Lulik.

Parada, Januário (Ino): artist, printmaker. Member of Gembel Art; illus. From the Hands of our Ancestors, 2009, op. cit., pp. 159.

Pereira Maia, Veronica (traditional name is Buat Salvak): artist, weaver, born in Fahorem in Covalima, 1930. In 1975 she was a refugee in Portugal as one of the thousands fleeing civil unrest. In Portugal she taught culture including to young Maria Madeira.

She undertook residencies and exhibitions at the Museo de Traje / National Museum of Costume, Lisbon. Since 1985 living in Darwin. After the Santa Cruz Massacre in 1991, she was active in AFFET and in their theatrical street demonstrations, including performing in theatre productions Diablo (Darwin Wharf, 1992) and Spirits Cry Freedom (1993). She undertook weaving workshops at Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences, Darwin (1989) and Craft Council Gallery, Darwin (1995). In 1996 she was key to the art installation Tuba-rai metin: firmly gripping the earth, for the 1996 Darwin Fringe Festival with the weaving of a memorial for the victims of the 1991 Dili Massacre, a project begun in 1994. She completed the five-panel Tais Don with the names of the identified 271 people who died, some months before the Referendum of 30th August 1999. On 12 November 2000, the new Government of Timor-Leste laid the Tais Don memorial weaving at Santa Cruz Church in Dili. Her work is held in public and private collections in Portugal, Japan, and Australia.

Ribeiro, Lina: weaver, lives Atu Aben, Bobonaro District. Created a contemporary tais based on a copy of an old tais owned by her mother-in-law with Portuguese cross-stitch patterns for The art of futus: Ikat Weaving of Timor-Leste/Sene futus: Tenun ikat dari Timor-Leste, exhibition, Museum Tekstil Jakarta, 2013. See exhibition catalogue, p. 18.

Sanches, Alfeo: teaches Arte Moris. Exhibited and painted walls (with Etson Caminha and Xisto da Silva) for the launch of Peace of Wall: Street Art from East Timor, for Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Melbourne, 2014.

Silva, Sebastian: painter, born 1963 Dili, lives Darwin. Exhibited Art with Timor, Beaufort Hotel Complex, Darwin, 25–27 June 1993. See Sorensen, Deb, ‘Art with Timor’, Green Left, No. 106, 14 July, 1993; paintings of ‘Calm rural scenes of East Timor and local vistas […] beautifully painted with a rich yet sombre use of color and characteristic short brush strokes’. Painted from memories of a childhood in Dili. Exhibition program: ‘Silva aims to focus attention on the lives of his native country people through his paintings. His belief in the right of the East Timorese to self-determination and a peaceful co-existence comes through in his work.’ Illus. From the Hands of our Ancestors, 2009, op. cit., pp. 144–145.

Sanggar (artist collective studios): ‘[sanggar] Bekusi, Bulak, Weluru, Naroman, Jovil, Sukaer and Faloikai appeared’, J Barrkman, ‘A contemporary art movement in Timor-Leste’, From the Hands of Our Ancestors, exhibition catalogue, 2009.

Sentru Kulturál Xanana: This Dili cultural centre holds occasional exhibitions and residencies. Exhibitions range from: Through the Eye of the Lens/Lie Husi Lente Matan, Australian Press Photographers Exhibition (2002) to Pintor: Jacinto Batista, Art Exhibition Espozisaun Arte (2014). In 2016 hosted Grupa Feto Fitun Fronteira (The Women’s Star Frontier Group), a residency of ten weavers from the enclave of Oecussi; co-ordinated by Alola Foundation and Timor Aid.

Street art / wall art: emerged mid-1990s, simultaneously inside and outside the country. Within the territory, political works began to appear on walls outside prisons, transferring the desire for freedom to the public space – propaganda posters and banners, painted canvases and images of resistance began to flourish in this period. Now an officially sanctioned art form prominent in Dili. See Chris Parkinson, Peace of Wall: Street Art from East Timor, 2010, also touring exhibition and blog: (viewed 6 July 2016). The Geração Foun (the ‘new generation’ or Santa Cruz generation) includes Etson Caminha, Alfeo Sanches and Xisto da Silva who exhibited as part of the launch of Peace of Wall: Street Art from East Timor, Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Melbourne, 2014.

Viegas, Albertina: lives in Poland. Born Dili, East Timor, 1966; arrived in Australia in 1975; BA (Visual Arts), Nepean College of Advanced Education, 1985–1987. Group exhibitions include Fresh Art, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 1989. Co-founder, Street Level Gallery, Penrith. Women’s co-ordinator, Warburton Arts Project, Western Australia. Curatorial activities: East Timor 1974–1990, A Photographic Perspective, Fairfield School of Arts, Sydney, 1990; East Timor 1942–1992, A Retrospective Exhibition, Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney, 1992; Yarnangu Ngaanya, Our Land – Our Body, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 1993; Tuba Rai metin: firmly gripping the earth, Darwin Fringe Festival, 1996, Sydney and Canberra, exhibition catalogue, East Timor Cultural Centre Inc., Fairfield NSW, 1996. 

Cultural sustainability — women’s art organisations, collectives

The Alola Foundation assists women with economic development including tais products, exhibitions and documentation (begun for Weaving Women’s Stories exhibition project, 2001–2003). Timor Aid began a textile collection in the years following 2000 ‘to assist in the preservation of an endangered culture’, with a tais workshop in Dili (1999) and elsewhere. The Alola Foundation and Timor Aid have collaborated on several important exhibitions. Timor Aid is overseeing a cultural project in East and West Timor, Indonesia, over three years and beyond in partnership with the Alola Foundation, Yayasan Tafean Pah and the Tropen Museum, with financial support from the European Commission. Aim is to increase the capacity of cultural institutions and encourage exchange between the two sides of the island of Timor. In 2014 Alola Foundation and Timor Aid co-ordinated Grupa Feto Fitun Fronteira (The Women’s Star Frontier Group), a residency of ten weavers from the enclave of Oecussi for two weeks at the Xanana Reading Room. They also commission heritage tais, for example using photographs by anthropologist Brigitte Clamagirand. Alola Foundation at: In Ubud, Bali, Threads of Life is a gallery/project space which aims to sustain traditional weaving with a comprehensive documentary archive on weavers and cultural tours.

Tais collectives, representatives

Several women’s workshops and sewing centres are supported by village-to-village community groups or local councils in Australia. Blue Mountains East Timor Sisters and Hunter East Timor Sisters: resell tais from four Tais Cooperatives in Australia: (viewed 6 July 2016); East Timor Women Australia (ETWA), Melbourne: Tais weaving tours and sale, community cultural events. Work in Lospalos town and district with co-ops such as Kooperativa LO’UD East Timor Women’s Association (ETWA) or (viewed 6 July 2016); Women’s Woven Art (WWA), a group organised by Tricia Johns, Hotel Timor is an outlet, exhibitions in Sydney with fashion designers.


Uma Lulik, 2011, Victor De Sousa (director), David Palazón (producer) and Joao Ferrer (producer). Uma Lulik’s premiere at Brisbane International Film Festival was billed as the first feature made in Timor-Leste by a young Timorese filmmaker. Manu Futu (Cock Fight), circa 2011, Bety Reis (director). Screened at Brisbane International Film Festival 2011. Tais Market, circa 2011, Irim Tolentino (director). Screened at Brisbane International Film Festival 2011. Beatriz’s War/A Guerra Da Beatriz, 2013, Luigi Acquisto (codirector, Melbourne-based documentary producer) and Bety Reis (co-director, Timorese theatre director and short filmmaker); FairTrade Films Australia and Dili Film Works (producers). The first feature film to be produced in Timor-Leste.

Documentaries, films and media spaces on Timor-Leste

ABC TV, Four Corners, ‘Stoking the Fires’, June 2006, by Liz Jackson, Lin Buckfield (producer).

ABC TV, Four Corners, ‘Taxing Times in Timor’, October 2012, by Andrew Fowler and Peter Cronau.

ABC TV, Four Corners, ‘Drawing the Line’, March 2014, by Marian Wilkinson and Peter Cronau. Australia has been accused of trying to gag a key witness with threatened criminal charges for the Timor-Leste case against Canberra over the controversial 2006 oil rights treaty between the two countries.

Alias Ruby Blade, 2012, Alex Meillier (director). USA documentary on human rights activist Kirsty Sword and political prisoner Xanana Gusmão.

Balibo, 2009, Robert Connolly (director), feature film.

Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy, 1994, John Pilger (director).

East Timor: A Debt to Repay, 1991, produced by the ABC’s Social History Unit; based on some material from Michele Turner’s oral histories in Telling: East Timor: Personal Testimonies 1942–1992.

Ian Melrose, businessman and human rights campaigner who privately funded ‘hard-hitting TV commercials with old Australian soldiers’ to support the Timor Sea Justice Campaign in 2005.

Suai Media Space: Jen Hughes, producer and co–author; with documentaries on Timor-Leste including The Circle of Stones (2001); Black Bullion (2003); at: (viewed 6 July 2016).

The Act of Killing, 2013, Joshua Oppenheimer (director), documentary recreation showing the New Order regime remains an ongoing network of political, corporate and military players.

Music and dance

Most recent studies include Roslyn Dunlop’s, Lian Husi Klamar/ Sounds of the Soul. The Traditional Music of East Timor, 2012 (book/DVD); Gillian Howell’s article on community music in rural East Timor, International Journal of Community Music 6.1, April 2013, and Andrew McWilliam in Transcending the Culture–Nature Divide in Cultural Heritage, Volume: 36, 2013, along with recent accolades: singer/composer Ego Lemos’s Best Original Song at 2009 APRA. Historical references at Smithsonian Institute database.