Peacebuilding and the Dead in Independent Timor-Leste

Dr Lia Kent1, Dr Damian Grenfell2, Bronwyn  Winch2, Emily Toome2

1Australian National University, , Australia, 2RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

Chair: Dr Lia Kent


In Timor-Leste, as in other post-conflict societies, the dead have been treated as peripheral in peacebuilding and transitional justice processes. This panel underscores the degree to which the dead – in particular those who died during the Indonesian occupation – must be understood as central in the processes through which families and communities make sense of the violence of the past. It examines some of the myriad ways in which the dead matter to the living, and what the recovery, reburial, and honouring of the conflict-dead accomplishes politically, socially, culturally and in terms of wellbeing.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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