The Birth of a Nation

This collection, constituted in collaboration with the Max Stahl Audio-visual Centre of East Timor, is a historic testimony. It includes unique audio-visual documents relating the struggle for independence of Timor and the first years of this newly-established state.

As a former Portuguese colony, located at the eastern extremity of the Indonesian archipelago, Timor was to suffer from repression at the hands of the Indonesian army from 1975 to right up to independence in 2002.

The British journalist, Max Stahl was the only foreign reporter on the island to tell the story of these years of resistance to Indonesian rule and slowly built up essential historical footage, the climax being when he filmed the massacre of Santa Cruz, in November 1991.

Since independence, Max Stahl has been living in Dili, the capital, where he founded an audio-visual centre that trains young Timorese in film techniques, with documents not just of the resistance, but also many other aspects of Timorese life: culture, health, sport and politics.

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