Learning About East Timor

December 14, 2011

For many months now I’ve found myself in a complicated relationship with a history I knew nothing about, with a country I have never visited, with a people I have not encountered. I’ve become infatuated. Deeply troubled. Deeply touched. In the past few months I have immersed myself into the history and struggle of Timor Leste and it’s people.

Over the past few days I have watched the movie Balibo and the documentary “A Hero’s Journey“. I’ve read Naldo Rei’s book Resistance and Sara Niner’s book Xanana. I’m halfway through Balibo by Jill Jolliffee and have Kirsty Sword Gusmao’s book A Woman of Independence and Xanana Gusmao’s book To Resist is to Win waiting to be read. However, the more I read, the more questions I have. There were so many things I want to understand but don’t.

I am so glad though that the Timorese people are speaking up and telling their stories. Without them, people like me, would have almost no understanding of what happened. How brave you all are.
I keep thinking, what was on the news in Fiji whilst this was happening in Timor Leste? What were were watching on TV when this was happening so close to home. Why can’t I remember people talking about this? I feel sick thinking that we let this happen. I feel sick thinking that we’re still letting atrocities like this happen in different places around the world, even now. I’m angry at myself for only reading about these things now, after the fact.
What should we be doing?
Where do we begin?
DVDs Mentioned
Balibo (movie)
A Hero’s Journey (documentary)
Books Mentioned 


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