Truth & reconciliation in Southeast Asia & the Melanesian Pacific: a project summary

Can historians be peacemakers? Recent experiences with truth and reconciliation processes in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific suggest that they can be. There is a role for historical research and memory in helping to build sustainable peace and stability in new nations. On the other hand, ignoring violent pasts undermines peacebuilding efforts. In the… More Truth & reconciliation in Southeast Asia & the Melanesian Pacific: a project summary

Memorializing Dili, Timor-Leste

The right to food; the right to health. Images of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it gets ready to turn 70. Centro Nacional Chega, the Timor-Leste centre for truth & reconciliation, Dili, Timor-Leste. pic.twitter.com/sYhjUeKHBE — David Webster (@dwebsterbu) October 30, 2018 Instead of mega-monuments glorifying the past, a photo exhibit explains a complex… More Memorializing Dili, Timor-Leste

Blood Moon over Aceh

Reviewed by Jacqueline Siapno Alue Rambe, a rural village in Aceh, situated at the epicenter of one of the world’s richest oil and gas fields, is the setting of Blood Moon over Aceh. This elegant, nuanced translation of a beautifully written, insightful, powerful novel on a bone-chilling topic forces the reader to reflect on the lives of Acehnese… More Blood Moon over Aceh

Unfinished business: Timor-Leste truth commission recommendations to the international community

In 2005, the Timor-Leste Commission on Truth, Reception and Reconciliation issued its report, Chega! (Enough!). It listed dozens of recommendations to the Timorese government and Timorese society, many of which are in the process of being carried out. There were also ten recommendations to the international community, which addressed research, dissemination of information, and actions… More Unfinished business: Timor-Leste truth commission recommendations to the international community

The Touchy Historiography of Indonesia’s 1965 Mass Killings: Intractable Blockades?

By Bernd Schaefer The violence of 1965–66 is both a domestic and an international issue. It cannot just be reduced to the fact that Indonesians were killing Indonesians, and therefore labelled an Indonesian affair and an Indonesian tragedy. That is only part of the story. It is also an international story: many countries bear responsibility,… More The Touchy Historiography of Indonesia’s 1965 Mass Killings: Intractable Blockades?

New Book: The Killing Season A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66

The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 By Geoffrey Robinson The Killing Season explores one of the largest and swiftest, yet least examined, instances of mass killing and incarceration in the twentieth century—the shocking antileftist purge that gripped Indonesia in 1965–66, leaving some five hundred thousand people dead and more than a… More New Book: The Killing Season A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66

Cracks in the Wall: Indonesia and Narratives of the 1965 Mass Violence

30 September and 1 October mark the anniversary of the Indonesian military’s seizure of power in Indonesia in 1965, which began an organized wave of killings by the Indonesian military and their supporters. To mark the anniversary of the killings and the ongoing campaign to tell the true story of what happened in 1965-66, we… More Cracks in the Wall: Indonesia and Narratives of the 1965 Mass Violence

Student-written Wikipedia articles compiled in textbook for future classmates

By Cassidy Villeneuve, originally published on the Wiki Education blog This term, Dr. David Webster is trying something new. “This year’s textbook [is] written by previous years’ students,” he announced over Twitter, much to the excitement of his followers. Dr. Webster has taught his students at Bishop University how to contribute to Wikipedia as a classroom assignment… More Student-written Wikipedia articles compiled in textbook for future classmates

Canadian cabinet minister on the 1999 Timor-Leste referendum

Like most observers, Raymond Chan, Secretary of State (Asia Pacific), government of Canada, was impressed by the courage and determination of the Timorese people as they lined up to vote. The following transcript contains his remarks on observing the 1999 Timor-Leste referendum, republished for the 19th anniversary of the vote. Raymond Chan: East Timor press… More Canadian cabinet minister on the 1999 Timor-Leste referendum

Tragedy or Betrayal? The United Nations Consultation in East Timor

Nineteen years after the 1999 referendum in Timor-Leste, in which people voted more than 78% for Independence, on a voter turnout of over 98%, we reprint observer reports of the ballot and what followed. This account by Randall Garrison, now a member of Canada’s parliament, is reprinted from Tok Blong Pasifik, December 1999, published by… More Tragedy or Betrayal? The United Nations Consultation in East Timor

“Grandfather Crocodile is my inspiration: Abé Barreto Soares, poetry and nation-building in Timor-Leste

Poetry can help build nations. It is doing so today in Timor-Leste (East Timor), where themes of resistance to foreign rule, Indigenous re-assertion, language and the shape of the new nation intertwine. One of the country’s leading poets, Abé Barreto Soares, embodies the way these themes come together. Although it declared its independence from Portugal… More “Grandfather Crocodile is my inspiration: Abé Barreto Soares, poetry and nation-building in Timor-Leste