Quirky is one way of describing this art space is the opinion of Lonely Planet about Arte Moris. However, Arte Moris (or Living Art) is more than just an art gallery or a fine art academy.
In 2003, the center provides a space for children Timorese to create art, as well as helping them connect and promote positive views about their nation. Famous freedom fighters’ posters that are popular with young people like the ones that depict Che Guevara as well as Bob Marley, surround teenagers who want to master the art of creating including murals, sculptures, prints on canvas and more.
It was initially a concept of Swiss artist Luca Gansser and his wife, Gabriela Gansser, with the help of a group of youngsters, Arte Moris has slowly transformed into a well-known and even the sole art gallery that is in Switzerland. Since the centre’s inception, Arte Moris was award the UN Human Rights prize for its advocacy for free expression.
However, Arte Moris’ aim is not just to support the arts. It hopes to assist East Timorese people rebuild their lives following the bloody conflict for independence of one of the newest nations, founded on the 20th of May 2002.
Violence In Timor Leste Art
The Southeast Asian island was first colonized by the Portuguese in 1515. The country gained its the independence it had from Portugal in the month of November 1975, through the Revolutionary Front of an Independent East Timor (Fretilin). It only lasted for only nine days until it was attack by Indonesian military.
The country was still under occupation until August 30 , 1999, in which an independence referendum was held that saw 78.5 percent of East Timorese people vote for independence from Indonesia. The result was a flurry of violence from pro-Indonesian groups, which needed intervention by UN peacekeepers.
The result was the establishment of a UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) from 1999 until 2002, after which Timor Leste restored full independence.
The bloody fight against Indonesian occupation has brought all the East Timorese together. However, a conflict between the military and the political began in 2006 after some army members were fire.
The conflict escalated into series of fighting between soldiers, the army, police soldiers, urban youth and soldiers, which resulted in the deaths of more than 100 in 2006 and more than 150,000 people forced to flee. The crisis exposed a deep tension between the elderly and the younger generation within the state.
Youth In Crisis Art
Timor Leste has one of the largest populations of young people around the globe. The country’s rapid population growth has brought attention to the state of affairs and situation of the young in the country.
According to an article from 2007 in the World Bank report titled Timor Leste’s Youth in Crisis: Situational Analysis and Policy Options The involvement of young people in violence across the country was among the most prominent aspects of the current crisis. Generation gap has become a major aspect of the current political discourse within Timor Leste.
Two generations were part of the long battle to gain independence. The first one is known as the Generation of ’99 or Geracao Foun born during the period of Indonesian occupation. There were a few were elect as leaders of the nation in the 1990s and 1980s. They differ from Generation of 75 who are older Portuguese-speaking leaders who most of them dominate the government.
The various groups are at odds over certain issues. However, their relationships are vital to the transfer of values of culture and the nation’s social cohesion.
Timor Leste’s youth are suffering from the lack of employment opportunities and the rate of poverty ) is still high at 41.8 percent. The prospects of an independent country seem to be far off as fundamental rights like education, job opportunities and the right to vote are not yet fully realize.
Murals To Promote Peace
The population in Timor Leste has been so affect by the events of recent times. That they have taken up the practice of venting on the walls. Some parts of the capital city of the nation Dili appear. To be an art gallery that is open to the public.
In 2006, after recognizing that graffiti and murals were among. The most inclusive methods of communication in the country Nobel prize-winning. Jose Ramos-Horta, the former president, and other NGOs hired artists to paint wall of the nation. To transmit messages of unity in the nation and peace.
Graffiti and murals have become a prominent in the cityscape. Arts allow young people to protest against the authority of the law and politics in the country.
A lot of the artists are of the Generation from 99 and were exile. Following the declaration of independence in 2002. They are seeking to affirm their participation in the struggle against Indonesia as well as to remind. The younger generation of their past while participating in debates about post-independence identities.
Gembel Art Collective
Collective Gembel Art Collective is another initiative of this kind, which found in 2003 just like Arte Moris. Gembel Art offers free arts classes, and is also planning the possibility of having music, theatre along with traditional performance. Similar to Arte Moris, its classes and spaces are available to everyone.
Artists, such as those affiliate in Arte Moris or Gembel Art Collective are also involve in human rights concerns. This includes fighting for the right to land as well as finding children disappeared during the Indonesian occupation. It is estimate that 4000 children were secretly transport to Indonesia between 1975 and 1999.
The artists express their discontent and discontent with government policies like the absence of jobs for youth. They also may support initiatives, like for instance, the Hands Off Timor Oil initiative in conjunction together with the government. With the help of the arts they inspire people to look at the problems that impact their country.