Cultural expression – the whole idea of culture – in East Timor is richly layered, practiced, promoted and resides in people. The tools of transmitting that culture – indeed the aesthetic outcomes – compete with a number of development agendas. I think the contemporary cultural output of East Timor is totally flouting the expectations of what one might expect from a country that is merely 11 years in its independence.

a selection of images from peace of wall will be exhibited in the fotofreo festival, fremantle, western australia from march 20 thru april 18. 

MHI's main project is the development of the Centre, undertaken in partnership with the State Secretariat for Art and Culture, Government of Timor Leste. Future stages of the project will include a café and shop, museum and art gallery and a learning centre.

We are hoping to bring in a couple of international artists, also, to collaborate with East Timor’s finest artists on revitalizing a house that has remained destroyed since Indonesia’s scorched earth withdrawal from the country in 1999. We want, also, to secure a vehicle that will become a mobile reading and painting facility as well as to provide an interesting tourist experience. Stay tuned.

Leonor Veiga, « Movimentu Kultura in Timor-Leste: Maria Madeira’s ‘agency’ », Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia [Online], Vol. 4, No 1 | 2015, posto online no dia 01 Abril 2015, consultado o 09 Novembro 2016. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/cadernosaa.860

'with admirable dedication chris parkinson has produced an evocative piece of photojournalism - capturing an important moment in east timor's history through its walls... this book alerts us to the cultural value of graffiti and street art for public expression, rehabilitation and community building.'

Since its establishment in 2007, Afalyca has grown into a cooperative and democratic community-focused organisation. Students from Baucau study with visiting teachers and resident artists, and showcase paintings and drawings throughout Timor. Activities at the school have included bookbinding, mural works, photography, musical workshops, figure drawing, lino printing and creative dialogue sculpture.

Explain to us how the Peace of Wall project got started and what drew you towards East Timor originally.

TWS Aoyama: Creator-in-Residence "OPEN STUDIO." One of the works Gil created during his residency period: Reborn Tree

On May 20, during my stay in Japan, Timor-Leste marked the anniversary of its independence, and I attended a commemorative event organized by a Japanese NGO. I was very happy to see Japanese people supporting the development of Timor-Leste and celebrating my country's independence. Of course, when I imagined how I would have cheered with my friends if I'd been in Timor-Leste, I was overwhelmed with thoughts towards home, and felt frustrated for being in a foreign country.

i like them. i like the words and the painting on them.

When it comes to street art, however, I really think we are just witnessing the beginning of something amazing and poignant. The artists involved in taking the lead, at this point of time, are hugely driven, passionate and inspired. They are always thinking and, with humility, understand their role as advocates for peace and harmony in the country.

so if you're in the neigbourhood, do pop down.

What is the future for the Street Art scene in East Timor? Your book has given the scene an international identity; do you see any of the artists moving into galleries at any point?

Mapa do site – Diretrizes para Autores – Políticas de Seção – Contato – Créditos  – Feed RSS

Mario (Marqy) Dorosario Mira Da Costa – Director Afalyca Art Centre, Baucau, Timor-Leste

Afalyca welcomes visiting artists. If you would like to assist in running workshops at the arts centre, please contact Afalyca through their Facebook page or phone Box Hill Community Arts Centre staff to discuss further on 9895 8888. Visiting artists are required to pay for their own airfares and accommodation.

Thanks to a collaboration between non-government organisations, local government, and the Australian Government, Many Hands International (MHI) recently opened the Centre for Traditional and Contemporary Arts and Culture in Lospalos – the first of its kind in Timor Leste.

links to their respective websites can be followed beneath the words click click.

a n t h o n y  l a p a g l i a (actor)

the book was designed and typeset by the lovely racket.

The quite powerful links to be made between literacy and street art really are celebrating story and engaging East Timorese across generations in fostering a sense of community through art.

Nine young South Australians will embark on the adventure of a lifetime this month

he is originally from indonesia. whilst his country's military scorched east timor, he remained peacefully committed to the independence of the country.

Art Inspired By Timor-Leste

It’s a scene that keeps re-asserting itself as a marker of identity and continues to splash positive representations and messages around the country that critique, conflict and absolutely collide with the politics of the day. Socially, artists continue to challenge representations of the country’s history and contemporary culture. The artists are continuously defying the norm and offering breadth to the understanding of the social and human condition in the country.

Australian Volunteers Lucia Pichler and Amy Stevenson, on assignment with MHI as a Creative Arts and Cultural Development Officer and Youth Arts Program Mentor respectively, both enjoyed helping at the official opening in Lospalos on Thursday May 1, 2014.

'deeply moving and beautifully presented, the raw expression here tells the harrowing and inspirational story of east timor.'

In The Caveman and the Alligator, a joint work with OLTA, Gil held a performance early in the morning near Shibuya Station. The photo shows Gil with the alligator costume walking through the streets around Shibuya Station as, dragging a caveman-like object.

From your work it seems like Street Art in East Timor went back to more traditional roots of documenting social and historical changes in a public forum. How does the Street Art in East Timor relate to the changes within its society?

Building work first commenced on the site in late 2012 by Host Organisation of the Australian Volunteers program, Community Housing Limited, with local tradespeople undertaking all of the labour.

----At the exhibition, I found the piece titled Cooking Pot in one corner of the room, and it made an impression on me. Can you talk about that piece?

Memory of Transfer Passing on the wisdom of our ancestors to the next generation

----What is the meaning of the joint work Reborn Tree that you created with the Japanese artists group OLTA?

How has the contemporary cultural output of East Timor developed since independence? Are there any other cultural movements, alongside street art, which are giving new expression to people in the country?

I think its movement through East Timor’s history encapsulates the complexity and drama of the country’s quest for independence. It’s gone from furtive messaging during the resistance, pleas in prisons throughout the occupation, popular Indonesian cultural references in the narrow time between occupation and independence, to being flamboyant, artistic, critical, engaged, peaceful and very, very hopeful.

MHI is both a Host Organisation and Australian Partner Organisation of the Australian Volunteers for International Development program. It was founded in 2008 by cultural anthropologist and former Australian Volunteer Holly Schäuble. The non-government organisation's staff and volunteers focus on projects in rural areas of Timor Leste that promote and support culture and development.

A strong friendship and respect has grown between BHCAC and Afalyca. Students from Afalyca have presented exhibitions in the BHCAC gallery in 2010 and 2011 and participated in a collaborative exhibition in 2013 entitled  The Water Project.

It will be the role model for 12 similar Cultural Centres through the 13 districts of Timor Leste.

t r i s t a n  m a n c o (art director | author | designer)

The Street Art in East Timor seems to channel a lot of cultural and tradition motifs, how does the scene relate to traditional culture, and engage with other forms of expression?