In East Timor the struggle for national independence was hard won and required a unity of shared purpose from the broad community of resistance. Part of the task of sustaining that sense of unity in the post-independence Democratic Republic of Timor Leste is the imaginative work of commemorative symbols that enjoin citizens within a common narrative of nation. My paper looks at one such commemorative symbol: the establishment in 2007 of the Nino Konis Santana National Park in the densely forested eastern portion of the island. The legislation creates the first National Park in an independent Timor-Leste and carries with it a complex range of associations, expectations and attributions. Within that complex, I am interested in the questions it raises around what I call the competing performative modalities of connection and significance. The tension in this case arises between state-making projects of institutional governance acting in the wider public interest and the more prosaic place-making projects of customary communities’ resident within the National Park itself from which they derive household sustenance and material needs.
|Title of host publication
|Transcending the Culture-Nature Divide in Cultural Heritage: Views from the Asia-Pacific Region (Terra Australis 36)
|Sally Brockwell, Sue O'Connor & Denis Byrne
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2013