LINDSAY MURDOCH IN DARWIN
11/10/2008 1:00:01 AM
TROUBLE appears to be brewing in East Timor again as security forces
step up roadblocks and increase security around government buildings.
Fretilin, the largest political party, is organising an
anti-Government protest march across the country, prompting threats
by the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, to jail participants.
But on the streets of Dili, the capital, children do not know or care
about the bickering and plotting by the country’s political elite who
have been antagonists for decades.
Twenty-one vulnerable teenagers and young people were given
disposable cameras to capture their lives.
Their images are remarkable.
A girl cuddles her toy bear; three naked children sit above a
waterhole; a bride adjusts her husband’s tie; a cockatoo rests on a
perch; children play beachfront soccer; youths tender goats; children
frolic in the surf.
One of the youths, Remegito da Costa, wants to become a full-time
photographer. “The pictures are my eyes, mouth, ears and feelings,” he says.
Rose Magno, a freelance photographer who supervised the project for
the non-government organisation Ba Futuru (“For the Future”) said it
was often difficult and inadequate for young people to express their
traumatic experiences through words.
“Giving them an opportunity for creative outlet through the camera
lens and visual narrative enables them to transform their negative
feelings into seeing positive changes in their personal development
and environment,” Ms Magno said.
“These children and youth, most of whom have never taken a picture
before, ventured out and brought back compelling interpretations on
themes such as love, identity, community, peace, conflict
transformation and hopes and dreams for their futures.”
The photographs are in a two-week exhibition called Through My Eyes .