FIONA MACDONALD, NARELLE JUBELIN, VICTOR DE SOUSA, and MARIA MADEIRA, Elastics / Borrocha / Elástico (2012 Timor-Leste Mobile Residency Archive), 2014, offset lithograph, 135 × 275.5 cm. Courtesy Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle.

East Timor

East Timor
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The Asia-Pacific’s youngest nation, Timor-Leste, or East Timor, saw a peaceful transition to a younger generation of political leaders in 2015. The country has limited cultural funding, although international organizations, such as AusAID, UNESCO and Timor Aid, sponsor events. 

The heart of East Timor’s art scene is the nonprofit Arte Moris, founded in 2003 by Swiss artist couple Gabriela and Luca Gansser in the capital Dili. The art school, cultural center and artists’ association offers free art education to Timorese youth, in addition to hosting lectures and staging exhibitions.

An offspring of Arte Moris, the Afalyca Community Arts Centre in Baucau operates on a similar community-based model. An eighth-anniversary exhibition was held at the State Secretary of Arts and Culture in Dili with paintings by local artists, as well as sculptures by artist, actor and poet Osme Gonsalves (2/27–3/27).

In Australia, the Gertrude Street Projection Festival (7/10–19) in Melbourne displayed a piece by Animatism, a collective with members from East Timor, Australia and Indonesia, on the facade of a clothing shop. Up north at the Darwin Festival (8/6–23), Mariano Palmira Goncalves joined Jompet Kuswidananto and two Australians at the Frog Hollow Centre for the Arts (8/16–19). In Western Australia, filmmaker Victor De Sousa and mixed-media artist Maria Madeira, together with Australian artists, won the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award for their collaborative offset lithograph about social change in East Timorese culture, Elastics/Borrocha/Elástico (2012), which was displayed at the Fremantle Arts Centre (9/25–11/15).