Sounds of Silence: Everyday Strategies of Social Repair in Timor-Leste

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Transitional justice discourse and practice is imbued with assumptions about the liberatory power of speech, and constructs silence as a marker of absence, pathology or continuing repression. This article unsettles these assumptions by examining some of the ‘everyday’ ways in which East Timorese people are seeking to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the Indonesian occupation. Close attention to everyday strategies and practices of social repair brings to the fore the ‘civil’ and ‘pragmatic’ dimensions of silence, while also underscoring the significance of relational and embodied forms of communication in the Timor-Leste context. I conclude that, rather than viewing silence as a ‘problem’, more attention should be paid to its diverse meanings, and to the rich realm of everyday life in which they are embedded.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-50
    JournalThe Australian Feminist Law Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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