DILI, 29 october 2023 (TATOLI) – The preservation of audiovisual documents about the struggle and suffering of the Timorese people for the country’s independence is essential to creating a historical legacy for new generations. The idea is from the Executive Director of Centro Audiovisual Max Stahl Timor-Leste (CAMSTL), Eudicito Pinto, as part of the celebration of World Audiovisual Heritage Day under the theme Your Window to the World, which is celebrated annually on october 27th, in an attempt to promote awareness and the importance of preserving audiovisual documentary archives.
This theme allows everyone to witness—that is, see or hear information and events from the past—as well as develop informative narratives that function as a source of knowledge and entertainment.
According to the leader, historical images of the massacre at the Santa Cruz Cemetery on November 12, 1991, are preserved at CAMSTL. The images of the massacre, collected by the English journalist Max Stahl, along with the murder of the ‘Balibo Five’, woke up the world to the reality that was experienced in Timor-Leste since the invasion of the territory by Indonesia, which occurred with the complicity of the United States of America in December 1975. Other audiovisual documents produced by historians or by the national and international press also contributed to that call for attention.
Specifically, the documentary on the Santa Cruz Cemetery massacre, which aired 31 years ago, made the voices of those who whispered hidden doubts, of young people unarmed in the face of bullets, and of old people, women, and children climbing the walls in the middle of the night, sacrificing themselves to realize a dream based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“I congratulated everyone who celebrated World Audiovisual Heritage Day, especially those with patience and commitment to conserving important materials such as audiovisuals as living images that serve as messages for new and future generations. We have an obligation to care for and preserve them”, Eudicito said in Dili.
The leader highlighted that if an individual makes an interview or a documentary, it is not just for themselves; it also serves future generations so that they can access and have knowledge about important events since audiovisual becomes the narrator of the story.
Also, the photographer and documentary filmmaker freelancer, Bernardino Soares, highlighted that audiovisuals are “intermediaries and images that become a bridge to transmit a problem or someone else’s interpretation”.
The photographer appealed to Timorese journalists and audiovisual producers to not only focus on politics but also cover the areas of agriculture, human interest, social arts, culture, and lifestyles of the Timorese.
“Digitalization and multimedia development are important for the dynamics of supporting the recording and preservation of future history”, he highlighted.
In turn, the Executive Director of the Audiovisual Production House (CPA), Rui Muakandala, highlighted the importance of audiovisual preservation in a world in full development, as it is not just about listening and reading but also about viewing vivid images.
The leader explained that the documentaries produced by the CPA are a platform aimed at marginalized people to convey their aspirations, especially in the social field.
For Rui Muakandala, the CPA’s mission is to be a voice for those who are not heard in social justice, for marginalized people in rural areas, for young women, and for the preservation of local languages that are on the verge of extinction.
“People in rural areas do not have access to water, good road infrastructure, or electricity, which is why the CPA invites them to talk about what they want and asks the government to pay attention to their concerns”, he concluded.
It is celebrated annually on october 27th, by the decision of UNESCO in 2005, as World Audiovisual Heritage Day. The goal is to raise awareness of the importance of preserving recorded sound and audiovisual documents.
Journalist: Afonso do Rosário
Translator: José Belarmino de Sá
Editor: Isaura Lemos de Deus/Filomeno Martins