[TimorLesteStudies] Nation Building Conference Dili July 2009

Bu V.E. Wilson bu.wilson at anu.edu.au
Fri Nov 28 18:31:26 EST 2008

Nation-Building across Urban and Rural Timor-Leste
Gender, Justice, Peace and Security, Development and Governance

Wednesday 8 July to Friday 10 July 2009, Dili, Timor-Leste

The Timor-Leste NGO Forum, RMIT University, Australian Volunteers
International with Charles Darwin University and Caritas Australia

Ten years after the 1999 vote for independence, this conference will
consider how nation-building is being experienced and responded to
across urban and rural communities in Timor-Leste. Broadening the
discussion beyond that of *state-building*, the conference would
consider some of the myriad ways the new republic has been *built*,
not only from policy and programmatic initiatives but also from grass
roots experiences and perceptions of how Timor-Leste as a nation is seen
and understood. 

The conference seeks to explore and understand what appears to be one
of the most significant characteristics of the nation-building process
in Timor-Leste, namely the sharp distinction found between urban and
rural communities, especially between Dili as the capital and the
hundreds of agricultural communities where the majority of the
population live. Dili has emerged as the centre for economic and
political power in a way that is extraordinarily disproportionate with
the remainder of the country, while rural areas often remain highly
isolated and continue to be dominated by subsistence agriculture.
Differences in access to services-from running water and electricity,
communication networks, adequate roads and transport, schooling and
health-are among the more obvious differences alongside lack of access
to paid work or opportunities for business development. The distinction
between the centre and the periphery is found in everyday discourse in
Timor-Leste, where it is the norm for people to speak in oppositional
terms about *Dili* and the *foho* (literally meaning mountain
but used to refer to non-urban communities). 

While acknowledging the sharp distinctions, the conference would look
beyond assuming an urban/rural disconnect. Firstly, while bringing
much-needed attention to issues such as the lack of access to services,
information and formal power in rural areas, this conference will
explore how rural communities have actively responded to the challenges
of nation-building on their own terms. Secondly, the conference will
attempt to consider the ways in which the urban and the rural in
Timor-Leste interconnect with one another, not just in terms of the
movement of people or economic interaction, but also in terms of how
national-identity is understood. 

Presenters are encouraged to consider the more general character of
nation-building in Timor-Leste, conceptually exploring the character of
that process over the last ten years. Equally, the conference will also
give an opportunity to practitioners and community members to draw out
concrete examples of community experiences of nation-building,
especially with an emphasis on the key themes of gender, justice, peace
and security, development and governance. For instance, how is justice
practiced or gender understood differently across the two domains, how
do socio-cultural differences between urban and rural communities impact
opportunities for peace and security, and what are the different forms
of governance that dominate the political *centre* and the

Discussions are continuing with East Timorese Government, civil society
partners and potential donors. Further details regarding the conference
will be sent out over December 2008 and January 2009 (such as the
registration process and conference venue). Please contact
damian.grenfell at rmit.edu.au if you have any queries in the meantime.


Hari*i Nasaun iha Areas Urbanas no Rurais iha Timor-Leste
Jeneru, Justisa, Paz no Seguransa, Dezenvolvimentu i Governasaun

Kuarta loron 8 to*o Sexta loron 10 fulan Juliu 2009, Dili,

Forum ONG Timor-Leste, RMIT University, Australian Volunteers
International with Charles Darwin University and Caritas Australia

Tinan sanulu depois de 1999 votasaun ba índependensia, Konferensia
ne*e sei hare*e oinsa experiensia no responde ba prosesu hari*i
nasaun iha komunidade urbanas i rurais iha Timor-Leste. Habelar liu tan
ita nian diskusaun liu fali husi diskusaun kona ba deit *hari*i
estado *, Konferensia ne*e sei konsidera tradisoens balun nebe*e
maka republika foun ne*e *hari*i* husi, laos deit husi politika
no inisiativus programatika sira maibé husi mos experiensia no
persepsaun komunidade baze (grassroots) sira nian kona ba oinsa sira
hare*e i kompreende Timor-Leste hanesan nasaun.
Konferensia ne*e buka atu explora no kompreende karateristiku
signifikantes prosesu hari*I nasaun nian iha Timor-Leste, hanesan
diferensas makàs nebe*e iha entre komunidades urbanas ho rurais, liliu
entre Dili nudar kapital no komunidade agrikultural atus-ba-atus
nebe*e maka maioria husi populasaun moris ba. Dili mosu hanesan
sentru ba poder ekonomia ho politika ho dalan ida nebe*e
extraordinariamente disproporsional ho fatin hotu iha país nian laran,
iha tempo hanesan  areas rurais dala barak maka sei isoladu los nafatin
no sei nafatin ho *agricultura subsistansia*. Diferensas iha asesu
ba servisus-husi be*e mós no eletrisidade, rede komunikasaun, estrada
no transporte nebe*e adekuadu, eskola no saude-hanesan diferensas
hirak nebe*e maka obvia liu alem de falta de asesu ba servisu ho
vensimentu no oportunidade ba dezenvolvimentu emprezarial. Diferensas
entre sentru ho perifeiru ne*e ita bele hetan iha vida loro-loron nian
iha Timor-Leste, ida ne*e maka hanesan buat bai-bain ida nebe*e maka
ema temi bainhira koalia kona ba termus opozisoens entre *Dili* ho
*foho* (literalmente signifika foho maibe termo ida ne*e uza
mos ba komunidades hirak nebe*e laos urbanas).  
Alende fo konhesimentu ba diferensas hirak nebe*e makas, konferensia
ne*e laos deit halo asumsaun katak iha diskoneksaun entre urban/rural.
Uluk liu, maske lori atensaun hirak nebe*e presiza liu hanesan falta
de asesu ba servisus, informasaun no poder formal iha areas rurais,
konferensia ne*e sei explora oinsa maka kumunidades rurais sira
responde tiha ona ho ativamente ba dezafius nebe*e iha kona ba prosesu
hari*i nasaun iha sira nian termus rasik. Tuir mai, konferensia ne*e
sei koko atu konsidera dalan hirak nebe*e urban ho rural iha
Timor-Leste nian koneksaun ba malu, laos deit em termus de movimentu das
pessoas ou interaksaun ekonomika, maibe*e em termus sira nian
kompreensaun kona ba identidade nasional.  

Apresentadores sira sei hetan enkorajamentu atu konsidera karater jeral
husi hari*I nasaun iha Timor-Leste, hodi kopsesualmente explora
karater husi prosesu ne*e iha tinan sanulu ba kotuk nian laran.
Nune*e mos, konferensia ne*e sei fo oportunidade ba
pratisionarius no memru husi komunidade sira atu bele fo sai ezemplus
konkretus husi komunidade nian expreriensia iha hari*I nasaun, liliu
ho foka forte  ba temas xaves hanesan jeneru, justisa, paz no seguransa,
dezenvolvimentu no governasaun. Hanesan ezemplu, oinsa maka pratika tiha
ona justisa ou oinsa maka dominiu rua ne*e (urban/rural) kompreende
jeneru, oinsa maka diferensas sosio-kultural diferensas entre komunidade
urbanas i rurais fo impaktu ba oportunidade ba paz no seguransa, no
saida deit maka formas diferentes ba governasaun nebe*e domina hela
sentru politika ho periferiu.  

Tan ami sei kolia ho guvernu, organizasaun civil sosiedade, no donor
sira iha Timor-Leste, ami atu kontinua fo informasaun foun konaba
konferensia ida ne*e iha fulan Dezembru 2008 no fulan Janeiru 2009
(por ezemplu, oinsa tau naran/rejista, fatin konferensia nst). Se
pergunta iha konaba konferensia ida ne*e, favor ida kontaktu
damian.grenfell at rmit.edu.au 

Dr Damian Grenfell
The Globalism Research Centre,
RMIT University
+61 3 9925 3462 (Australia)
+670 732 7481 (Timor-Leste)

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