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February 22, 2024
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Three Women of East Timor
Produced by: Griet Dierckxsens
Matthew Leonard
On May 20, 2002, East Timor finally got what it had struggled for. The road to independence was long and difficult; a journey that was reflected in the fortunes of its national radio station. From colonization to independence - each wave of occupation brought a new language for broadcast. When Filomena Soares was growing up on the outskirts of the capital Dili, fifty years ago, her country was still a Portuguese colony and she remembers dancing on the veranda to the folk songs on the Portuguese Radio, and dreaming of working in radio one day herself. When she finally did, it wasn't a dream come true. By then the Indonesians had taken over and replaced the Portugese Radio with Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI),and when they asked her to join the station, she had to obey. Meanwhile, in the mountains, another Timorese woman, Carmen da Cruz, was working for Radio Falintil, the voice of the resistance. It was after the Santa Cruz massacre in 1991 -- that placed enormous international pressure on the Indonesian government and forced them, eight years later, into accepting a referendum -- that the fate of Carmen and Lourdes became intertwined, and a third woman, Maria, joined in. Listen to their stories and hear how they put the jigsaw of East Timor's history together. The Three Women of East Timor was produced by Radio New Zealand and airs as part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.

Program Credits

Three Women of East Timor was produced by Griet Dierckxsens and Matthew Leonard for Radio New Zealand. It airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.


Online Women in Politics: East Timor
Read about the history of East Timor's occupation and fight for independence, as well as the status of women on this small Pacific island

Alola Foundation
The Alola Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of women in East Timor in all aspects of their lives.

Women and East Timor
Web links and resources of information on East Timorese women.

Raping the Future
This article in Mother Jones magazine details the plight of East Timorese women under the rule of the Indonesian military.

Bitter Flowers, Sweet Flowers : East Timor, Indonesia, and the World Community
by: Richard Tanter (Editor), Stephen R. Shalom (Editor), Mark Selden (Editor) 2001
This work places East Timor's independence from Portugal and then Indonesia in an international context on the end of European colonization and decolonization.

East Timor: Genocide in Paradise
by: Matthew Jardine, Noam Chomsky (Illustrator) 1999
Noam Chomsky and Matthew Jardine explain the West's role in the Indonesian occupation of East Timor and its implications in the media.

East Timor Question
by: Paul Hainsworth, Stephen McCloskey, Foreword by John Pilger 1999
This work discusses the global importance of the East Timorese battle for independence.

Radio Online
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Programs by Griet Dierckxsens

Programs by Matthew Leonard

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