East Timor Turns Ten: Looking Forward, Looking Back
Over at Warscapes, Zésopol Carlito Caminha has an astonishingly beautiful, but brief, photo essay on the tenth anniversary of independence from Indonesia. In Zésopol’s words, the photographs “depict the juxtaposition of an environment which continues to reflect our militarized past, alongside the vision for a peaceful future of the next generation.” Enjoy.
And if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out CM Rien Kuntari’s piece, “Timor: The Final Hour,” taken from her book Timor Timur. As quick background, she notes that the book’s appearance “not only resulted in the loss of my twenty-year tenure as war correspondent for Kompas Daily, the highest circulation national newspaper in Indonesia, but also in my ongoing exile in the US due to threats to my life. The book created controversy because of its explicitly unbiased coverage of the atrocities committed in East Timor between July and November 1999 in which I name East Timorese factions responsible for numerous deaths, but more seriously the names of Indonesian National Army figureheads that were involved in conspiracy and campaign propaganda days before the referendum.”
What follows is riveting, like this description of the murder of Bernadino Guterres, a university student from Java: “The two bullets lodged in Bernadino’s neck, close to his left ear. He toppled over and slumped to the ground. Blood flowed from his body. The asphalt beneath him reddened quickly. All was quiet. Everyone stopped to look at the body: skinny, dark, wearing a red hat and crumpled, stained jeans. The shooter, a Brimob officer with fair skin, round eyes and a stoic face, turned around. With chilling calm, he simply walked back and resumed his original position in the line of Brimob officers. At dusk, the whole city of Dili was overtaken by a deathly silence. The only sound was the wailing of Bernadino’s mother, whose eyes rolled in disbelief when she saw her beloved son shot dead in the street. ‘He’s my son…He’s my son…He’s my son…’ she cried.”
These two pieces are part of Warscapes Indonesia retrospective. For more, click here.