P07 – The colony of Timor: peripherality, periodical press and transit of ideas between colonial nodules

22.05.2017, 16.00-17.20, Auditorium 1, Tower B, FCSH

Vicente Paulino – Universidade Nacional de Timor Loro`Sae (UNTL) / CEMRI –Uab), East Timor

Lúcio Sousa – Universidade Aberta / CEMRI-UAb e IELT-FCSH, Portugal

Abstract: Periodical press in Portuguese colonial Timor is a mirror of the peripherality that characterized the territory in the context of the Portuguese colonies. In fact, locally edited periodicals emerged only in mid-20th century. Yet, this fact does not stop the territory of being, since mid-19th century, part of the international circuit of production and circulation of news. Although scarce, the news of Timor, locally produced, or conceived outside about the territory, emerge regularly not only in the periodical press from Portugal and Macau, but also in the Dutch Oriental Indies and in the neighbor Australia, nodosities of a circuit of ideas forged, in the case of Portugal, to a metropolitan public (Sousa, 2016).

The late emergence of press in the territory happens with the publication of the periodical Seara in 1949, issued by the diocese of Dili; of the newspaper A Voz de Timor in 1960, submitted to the control of the provincial government, and of the A Província de Timor, in 1964, a newspaper published by the Portuguese military Independent Territorial Command of Timor. They are spaces of reproduction of exogenous discourses, but also of localized diffusion of a common idea of Timor (Paulino, 2012). Outside this process, the periodical A Voz da Comunidade Chinesa de Timor, supported by the government of Taiwan, is initiated by the end of the 1950’s (Tique, 2013). It is in the framework of this partition amongst the fundamental institutions of the colony, with editorials marked by the agendas of such institutions, that emerges, even if late in comparison with other colonial spaces, a public arena of expression of Timorese social actors, who will use this platform to debate the Timorese culture and identity and, after 1974, to its political manifestation. Indonesian occupation creates a new colonial relation to last until 1999, and Timor is, in this context, a stage to reveal interests in the press, mainly international, used as a vehicle of integration or opposition, manifests of coloniality and of resistance.

This panel aims to debate the role of these different nodules and interests, associated with the production and circulation of news, in the constitution of the political in East Timor, as vehicle of production of cultural imaginaries, emergence of local literatures and manifestation of identitarian consciousness.

Keywords: Press, Colonial, Timor,  Voice, Identity

1. Vicente Paulino – Universidade Nacional de Timor Loro`Sae (UNTL) / CEMRI –Uab, Timor Leste

Still on Portuguese-speaking journalism in colonial Timor

This paper intends to examine the presence of Portuguese-speaking journalism in Portuguese Timor, a topic on which, despite the existence of some previous works (Paulino, 2012, Paulino, 2016), has not yet been studied globally. In this context, particular attention will be given to Portuguese newspapers / newsletters in Portuguese Timor that have not yet been studied or analysed exhaustively, such as the Crónica de Timor, the Jornal de Timor, the daily newspaper A Voz de Timor, o Boletim do comércio e estatístico e etc. I tis of particular interest to analyse the information on their pages regarding the colony’s vision in the context of the Portuguese colonial space, especially at a time when Portugal loses its colony of Goa, Daman and Diu, and engages in the sixties on three fronts of war with the liberation movements in revolt against Portuguese colonial power. This article intends to promote journalistic studies in order to “record the memory”, since this is an essential part of our identity as a nation and state, and an essential part of contemporary debates on East Timor.

Keywords: Journalism, Timor, memory, colony

2. Irta Sequeira Baris de Araújo – Universidade Nacional de Timor Loro`Sae (UNTL), Timor Leste

Revisit the issue of church, youth and public opinion in the Catholic bulletin SEARA

In Pope John XXIII’s Encyclical Pass in terris, the eradication of dominator and dominated relations and the progressive access of the latter to independence is advocated. A position that will be followed in the Second Vatican Council, inspired by this document, which also promotes the development of public opinion. Pope Pius XII, in the early 1950s, regarded public opinion as “the patrimony of all normal society composed of men who, conscious of their personal and social conduct, are intimately connected with the community to which they belong” (Nunes, 1963). In this context, the youth as part of this community are simultaneously in a dynamic and at the same time anachronistic state of mind. In fact, the newspaper Seara, “In the hour of youth” (Seara 1972, year 7, nº 220), explains that there is no concept of “losing”, but that everything is object of transformation. The purpose of this communication is, in the context of the ongoing changes in the Catholic Church, to discuss the concept of youth advocated in this local journal, thus analysing its role in formation of a public opinion in Timorese society, at a time when this was one of the few public spaces for producing this opinion, namely by the, at the time, young future leaders of the Timorese nation.

Keywords: Youth, public opinion, Timor, Seara, Timor-Leste

3. Miguel Maia dos Santos e Vicente Paulino – Universidade Nacional de Timor Loro`Sae (UNTL) / CEMRI –Uab, Timor Leste

Ethnographies of “customs and traditions” in the periodical press of Portuguese Timor

In this text, it is intended to address the ethnographic notes of missionaries and other authors published in the Catholic magazine SEARA and the newspaper A Voz de Timor as “literary imaginaries”, with “cultural” purposes, but also proselytizing purposes. These articles were a way of debating Timorese socio-cultural reality and are also an important source of later “imagination of the nation”. These ethnographic notes speak of ‘customs and traditions` of the people of Timor, namely the question of barlaque, the Timorese soul and the myths of distinct ethnolinguistic groups. The Catholic press through SEARA was interested in the issues of the “customs and traditions” of East Timorese with the aim of taking advantage of some its cultural features to facilitate his missionary purposes. However, the contribution these and other authors, namely in the newspaper A Voz de Timor, is still to be explored, so in this pioneering and interdisciplinary article, we will cover in a multifaceted and comparative way the ethnographic notes of missionaries and other agents (military and civil servants) In order to contrast their narratives and objectives and to ascertain which legacies remained in contemporary East Timor.

Keywords: Catholic press, ethnographies, customs and traditions, imaginary

4. Lúcio Sousa – Universidade Aberta / CEMRI-UAb e IELT-FCSH

The rebelled aboriginal: Manufahi, 1912 echoes in the international press

The years of 1911, 1912 and 1913 were fertile in revolts in the Portuguese colonies (Pélisier, 2006). In Timor, the revolt of Manufahi was last the great rebellion against the Portuguese power in that it was the most recondite parcel of its colonial empire. The late news of the revolt in the metropolitan press is marked by a laudatory discourse on Portuguese action, a widespread omission of Timorese participation as allies in war actions and the legitimation of the recently implemented republican regime (Sousa, 2016). With the end of the revolt the territory is considered definitively occupied.

In this communication, I intend to present exploratory data on the echoes, paths and resonances of the news of this revolt in the foreign press, comparing it with the metropolitan one. In fact, the revolt changes the peripheral status of the territory, which thus acquires an unusual centrality in the Portuguese, Macanese periodical press, but also in the Dutch East Indies and neighbouring Australia, nodes of a colonial circuit that generates news at the same time as expresses interest in unveiling the result of the Portuguese efforts to supress this rebellion

Keywords: Timor, revolt, press, International press

5. António Barbedo de Magalhães, Jorge Pópulo, Luís Pinto,  Sofia Elisabete Costa – Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto

The role of political action and of the media in the struggle for the self-determination and independence of Timor-Leste

The ‘Professor Barbedo Archive’ was established by Professor Barbedo de Magalhães and is currently being organized by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto. The archive holds documentation on the struggle for the self-determination and independence of Timor-Leste. A study of the documentation held in the archive will allow researchers to reconstruct the history of the political process that prevented Portugal, the Administering Power, from shirking its responsibilities when pressured by major powers and their dominant interests – viz. the USA and its key allies – to allow the East Timorese issue to quietly die in the United Nations. The process highlights the importance of defining and implementing a combative but realistic and effective anti-colonial policy aimed at the key international actors influencing the political process that had to be won over for the cause of self-determination. The solidarity initiatives and the anti-colonial media played a decisive role in gaining support for the East Timorese cause in Portugal, the USA, Australia, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and other countries in the region. The archive holds documents mainly from the 1974-2007 period, including newspapers and periodicals and a range of documents pertaining to the political and diplomatic struggle.

Keywords: Political action, Media, Press, Timor-Leste, Independence, Self-determination, Identity


António Barbedo de Magalhães is Emeritus Professor of the University of Porto at the Faculty of Engineering. He engaged in political work to prevent the Portuguese Government from allowing the East Timorese issue to fall into oblivion at the UN and to develop Portuguese and international (Indonesian, Australian, US, etc.) solidarity with Timor-Leste. In 1975, he coordinated a project aimed at de-colonising education in Timor.

Irta Sequeira Baris de Araújo. Professor at the National University of East Timor (UNTL). Master in Education and Social Movements by UFSC – Brazil. She participated with communications in conferences and colloquiums, having published several academic texts as book chapters.

Jorge Pópulo graduated in History (Portucalense University). Postgraduate in Documental Sciences – Archive and a Master Degree in Information Science (University of Porto). Works in the Archive of the Engineering Faculty in the University of Porto.

Lúcio Sousa is Anthropologist. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Management at Universidade Aberta, Portugal. His PhD fieldwork was done in East Timor with the ethnography of socio-ritual practices and social organization of a bunak community in the Boarder Mountains of East Timor with West Timor, Indonesia.

Luís Pinto. Translator/Interpreter. Worked for the Jornadas de Timor of University of Porto.

Miguel Maia dos Santos is Professor and Ombudsman and Counseling Pro-Rector at the Universidade Nacional de Timor Loro Sa`e  (UNTL). He is a Doctorate in Cultural Studies at Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa (FLUL). He has participated in national and international conferences and seminars, and has published some academic papers in book chapters.

Sofia Elisabete Costa is Graduated in Information Science and with a Master Degree in History and Heritage by the Oporto University. Worked as a research grant on Casa de Mateus Foundation. After that, organized the Orquestra do Norte Archive. Currently collaborates in the organization of the ‘Professor Barbedo Archive’.

Vicente Paulino is Assistant Professor of the National University of Timor Loro Sa`e (UNTL). Director of the Unit for the Production and Dissemination of Knowledge of the Postgraduate and Research Program of UNTL. Collaborating researcher at the Centre for Studies on Migration and Intercultural Relations (CEMRI-UAb).

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