How did Timor-Leste (East Timor) win its independence from Indonesia, the regional power, after 24 years of occupation? Many said that independence was impossible for Timor-Leste, invaded and occupied in 1975, battered by killings and crimes against humanity, and without much international support. But by 1999, the Indonesian army was gone, and by 2002 East Timor had regained its independence as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. The unlikely success of the Timorese struggle, against long odds, is a remarkable story matched by few independence movements in the second half of the 20th century. One answer to the question of how the Timorese achieved independence lies in a key ally: a global "solidarity movement" of citizen activists.
The TIMOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY ARCHIVE (TiSA) shares digitized documents from the global solidarity movement which operated from 1975 to 1999 in diverse countries, including Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Portugal, the United States and Timor-Leste itself. The project aims to share new documentary evidence from multiple archives and make this evidence available to researchers and the general public, thereby contributing to the state of knowledge in this field, as well as making already-available documents and archival material more widely available.
Project coordinator: David Webster, Bishop's University, Canada (dwebsterATubishopsDOTca)
Current research assistants: Jazmine Aldrich, Duncan Crabtree, Emilie Labbé
Past research assistants: Jocelyn Grubb, Juliana Brito Santana Leal, Meagan Parsons, Fernando Jorge Saraiva Ferreira Júnior
This site runs on AtoM, a fully web based archival description application that is based on International Council on Archives (ICA) standards. AtoM is an acronym for Access to Memory.
This project is possible with support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Additional support provided by Bishop's University and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. We gratefully acknowledge the guidance of the Clearing House for Archival Records on Timor.
For a map in progress of archival records on Timor solidarity, see here