[TimorLesteStudies] Canberra Seminar: Displaced households in rural East Timor

Jennifer Drysdale jenster at cres10.anu.edu.au
Tue Jan 30 12:18:20 EST 2007

>Human Geography Seminar Series
>Monday, 12  February, 2007
>3.30pm - 5.00pm, Seminar Room C, Coombs Building, ANU
>Pyone Myat Thu
>PhD Student
>Department of Human Geography
>Pre-fieldwork Seminar
>Displaced households in rural East Timor: re-establishing livelihoods
>The scale and distribution of populations affected by internal 
>conflict and widespread physical dislocation is largely unknown in 
>East Timor. Most East Timorese have been displaced during their life 
>time. The proposed research focuses specifically on a village 
>displaced (and re-settled) by force during the Indonesian period 
>between 1975 and 1999. The relocations were part of Indonesian 
>development policies to facilitate socio-economic goals, but were 
>also a counter-insurgency strategy, because many upland communities 
>were involved with resistance movements.
>Recently many displaced communities have returned to their ancestral 
>land, while others have chosen to remain at their relocation sites, 
>but nonetheless regularly journey back to their forcibly abandoned 
>land to access resources and to conduct rituals. This research will 
>analyse how households in a geographically dispersed community 
>pursue multi-local livelihoods, utilising resources available on 
>ancestral land (such as family plantations) and at the re-settlement 
>site, and assess the complex networks and linkages that exist within 
>and between households.
>Issues of particular interest include changing land tenure and 
>social institutions, and an assessment of how they provide or 
>constrain livelihood opportunities for the displaced. Displaced 
>people are commonly represented in the literature as disempowered. 
>This study seeks to show how they adapt to and overcome their 
>disadvantages to become capable members of the community. A 
>livelihoods framework will be adapted and extended to provide a 
>method to analyse how the displaced communities of East Timor have 
>coped with their adversity.

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