Book “Timor Etnográfico. Etnografias Coloniais Portuguesas no Século XX”

Anthropology and Portuguese colonialism share a common past. During the 20th century, the so-called «indigenous peoples» of Asia and Africa were observed and studied by numerous Portuguese colonial administrators, missionaries, military and scientists. The essays gathered in this book analyse these hypotheses throughout the investigation of the abundant colonial ethnographic archives on Timor-Leste. The topics cover the study of «usos e costumes»; descriptions of native languages ​​and religion; the collections of legends; ethnographic films; the Anthropological Missions; and the presence of colonial ethnographies in the imagination of Timor-Leste as a nation.

“Timor Etnográfico. Etnografias Coloniais Portuguesas no Século XX” is a publication organized by Ricardo Roque, and includes, among others, essays of the AIA-SEAS members Kelly Silva, Lúcio Sousa, Maria Johanna Schouten and Vicente Paulino.

Workshop AIA-SEAS “Education and Research in Timor-Leste – Timorese Perspectives”

The 2nd edition of the AIA-SEAS Workshops will take place on May 5t, 2022, dedicated to the theme “Education and Research in Timor-Leste – Timorese Perspectives”.

This will be an open online event (no prior registration required). To attend, simply access the link “Oficinas AIA-SEAS” at the following time:

Timor-Leste – 19:00
Portugal – 11:00
Brazil (Brasilia) – 7:00

Moderated by Marisa Ramos Gonçalves (CES/UC), the AIA-SEAS Workshop “Education and Research in Timor-Leste – Timorese Perspectives” seeks to discuss priorities, methodologies and challenges for education and research, both in formal and non-formal context, in Timor-Leste, from the perspectives of educators, researchers and activists:

  • Antero Benedito da Silva – Professor and Educator, Instituto ba Estudu Dame, Konflitu no Sosiál, UNTL)
  • Therese Nguyen Thi Phuong Tam – Professor and Researcher, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, UNTL)
  • Laurentina ‘Mica Barreto’ Soares – Professor and Researcher, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, UNTL)
  • Antonieta Berta Tilman – Feminist activist
  • Rogério Sávio Ma’averu – Independent researcher

This workshop results from a partnership between AIA-SEAS and CES-UC, and is carried out within the scope of the EDULIBERA project «Education as an instrument of liberation in Mozambique and Timor-Leste – stories of solidarity and contemporary reflexes»*

*[funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program [MSCA-IF GA no. 867413], in progress at the Center for Social Studies – UC]

If you wish to receive a Participation certificate please contact AIA-SEAS.

Internacional Workshop “Solidarity with Timor-Leste Struggle for Self-determination: Actors, Institutions, Contexts”

Between may 16th and 19th, 2022 the Internacional Workshop “Solidarity with Timor-Leste Struggle for Self-determination: Actors, Institutions, Contexts”, will be held, dedicated to the issue of solidarity with Timor-Leste’s struggle for self-determination.

Over two and a half decades, solidarity with the Timorese struggle took a variety of forms: support from civil society movements, which were able to bring about changes in the official policies of several countries; state support (eg from the PALOP); support from institutions, specifically religious.

This workshop seeks to bring together a wide range of contributions from both the testimonies of actors and academic reflection on the subject.

Place: This will be a hybrid event that will take place in person and online. The online format aims to involve participants from different parts of the world, while the face-to-face part will take place at the Museu do Oriente, in Lisbon, with the aim of enhancing interaction with the public, especially with the Timorese community in Portugal, very concentrated in the Portuguese capital.

Organization: This is an initiative developed within the scope of the project “ADeTiL – The self-determination of Timor-Leste: a study of Transnational History”, in collaboration with Fundação Oriente.

Registration: Registration is free, but mandatory (by completing the form), until April 30th. In-person registrations are limited to the number of seats available and will be considered in order of reception.

[For more information, please contact]

New Paper from Ângelo Ferreira

We announce the article by Ângelo Ferreira, a member of AIA-SEAS, published in the journal Education and Research, edited by the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

“Portuguese language as a distinguishing mark: an East Timorese identity school during the Indonesian occupation”

East Timorese fought for 24 years (1975-1999) against the violent Indonesian occupation and the educational effort to make them Indonesians. This research consists of a case study intended to understand the purpose of a school named Externato de São José in maintaining all teaching in the Portuguese language when it was banned and persecuted for delaying effective integration in Indonesia during that period. A qualitative methodology is used under the interpretive paradigm. In order to better understand this school’s objectives, it was decided to listen to its privileged witnesses, carrying out a content analysis of ten semi-structured interviews with former students, teachers, and members of society. The research undertaken reinforces the idea that identity is seductive, that it depends on people’s free adhesion, and projects a sense of belonging to something bigger, to a people with a unique culture, with language, in conjunction with other cultural features, playing a decisive role. Results show 124 occurrences illustrating the school’s aim in promoting the Portuguese language as a distinguishing hallmark of East Timorese cultural identity, being highlighted by the interviewees as the essence of their identity, as a rejection of Indonesian language and cultural integration in Indonesia, or as a recovery of East Timor culture, of Portuguese/Latin influence. This central identity role given to the Portuguese language, either by pro-integration in Indonesia and pro-independence supporters, unified the older generation educated in Portuguese and part of the youth in the struggle for independence, thus contradicting any lasting uncertainties in East Timor society regarding the status of Portuguese as one of the two official languages.