CAMSTL: Perfect place to learn memories of TL’s struggle for self-determination

CAMSTL: Perfect place to learn memories of TL’s struggle for self-determination


DILI, 07 november 2023 (TATOLI) – The Max Stahl Audiovisual Archive Center for Timor-Leste (CAMSTL) is the perfect place for the new generation to learn about the history of East Timor’s struggle for independence.

The Rector of the National University of Timor-Lorosa’e (UNTL), João Soares, said that Timorese students and researchers can use the historical documents preserved at CAMSTL for research and history studies.

He said that CAMSTL has a lot to offer to the younger generation, especially students, about the historical events that occurred during the nation’s struggle for independence.

CAMSTL’s Executive Director, Edicito Pinto, encouraged young people to visit CAMSTL to learn about the history of East Timor’s struggle.

“Students can do the research and learn about the history of Timor-Leste in the past at CAMSTL,” said Pinto at an International Seminar to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of CAMSTL.

The Secretary of State for Social Communications (SECOMS), Expedito Dias Ximenes Stahl’s footage and images marked a turning point in the Timorese struggle towards national liberation, adding massacre caught the international attention to the political situation in the country.

Ximenes said that Stahl’s footage gave the International community the real situation in East Timor as the footage boosted the diplomatic front engagement abroad.

He urged the new generation to take Max Stahl’s legacy as a reference to continue fighting social injustice in the country.

More than 2,500 students visit CAMSTL every month to learn Timor-Leste’s history.

Last year, former Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, and Ingrid Bucens, Max Stahl’s wife had a discussion on the transformation of CAMSTL into a public institute to keep the legacy of Max Stahl.

The CAMSTL was established by Max Stahl, the British Journalist and Filmmaker who brought the shocking pictures of the Santa Cruz massacre in 1991 to the world.

The creation of the Max Stahl Audiovisual Centre in Timor-Leste (CAMSTL) is to preserve and disseminate the audiovisual collection documenting the resistance period, the events during and after the referendum, and the first years of independence up to the present day. In 2013, this collection was recognized by UNESCO by being inscribed in the Memory of the World Register, a program created to protect and promote the world’s documentary heritage through conservation and access to documents.

In 1991 Max Stahl arrived in East Timor (Timor-Leste) where he lived and documented one of the most dramatic moments of the country: the massacre in the Santa Cruz cemetery, in Dili. The images of the massacre were spread around the world and changed forever the history of the nation.

Max Stahl demonstrated the highest order of courage in filming and sharing his footage and images about the atrocities, especially in 1999, with the world, forcing it to respond.

Max Stahl died on october 28, in Brisbane, on the same day that marked the 30th anniversary of the death of Sebastião Gomes, which caused political unrest that led to the Santa Cruz massacre.


Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Filomeno Martins


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