Marian Reid

Visibility and cultural voice in Fataluku country Timor-Leste

This study explores the intersection of digital visual communication and traditional culture in the Fataluku community of Lautem, Timor-Leste. Focusing on the Fataluku Research Project as a case study, this paper investigates the effect that community-driven cultural documentation has on the value, perception and visibility of culture by the community, and makes a conceptual link between increased cultural visibility and its potential to contribute to social cohesion in the context of Timor-Leste. This paper highlights how being on camera through a collaborative process can create spaces of dialogue, open channels of cultural expression and reinforce identity for Fataluku people. This paper also explores digital visual communication as a framework that can be applied to other ethnic communities in Timor-Leste and more broadly.

Keywords: digital visual communication, Fataluku, identity, intangible culture, participatory research, Timor-Leste, visibility


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Note on the contributor

Marian Reid is a Melbourne-based communications specialist and storyteller with a Master's in Communication for Social Change from the University of Queensland’s Centre for Communication for Social Change. She works with non-government organisations and communities around the world to help tell important stories.