What if the sky only has blue?
Would it remain beautiful?
The blue sky lives in solitude of its dull monotony
Then God creates the cloud to accompany the blue sky
The blue sky becomes happy with the new company
Together they spent their days enjoying the view of the world below them
But one day cloud realize that she is fading away and turn to rainfall
The blue sky felt so sad until it almost fades its blue color to grey
But then the rainfall went to the sea and ascents to the blue sky to reform itself
They met and each of them tell their stories. They finally realized that they will live together, again…
What do you see during the concert of pop music at heart of the city?
Is it the setting of the stage where the blinking lights are all around?
Is it the unstoppable speech of the host?
The native and foreign singers who sing with their beautiful voices?
The dancers who shake themselves in an amazing style?
Or, the crowds who surface like ants?
As for me. I am not only looking at these things.
Eyes of mine supposed to only look straightforward, yet they draw me to see a five-year-old boy holding a bunch of five balloons and selling them around.
Then, a father holding her little daughter buys a pink balloon from the five-year-old boy who sold the balloon. The father gives the balloon to her daughter. The little girl laughs out excitedly.
After that, a woman came along and took the little girl from her father. She kissed her daughter with laughter.
The three of them stand right in front of me holding the pink balloon they just bought and watching the concert of pop music at the heart of the city.
Now, I am the one who cannot see that concert of pop music at the heart of the city.
Largo Lecidere, Dili, Timor-leste, August 29, 2017
Look up to the sky
That sky of tonight is gloomy
No stars… no moon
Only darkness wraps the heart
That trembles of longing for you so much
Do you also feel it?
The seat beside me is empty
As it waits for your shadow to fill in
Together, we would face the coldness of the night’s wind
We would be talking again
About all those unfinished feelings
We would be witnessing again
How the tremor of this longing had shaken us
We would be unifying the tremble of our hearts
Into a most solid and tightest embrace
We would be sharing the magnificence together for tonight
In a sweetest kiss ever
You and me, together we would be wrapping our souls with this warmth
You and me, together we would be looking up to this night’s gloomy sky
How can all this happen if you do not come along?
The sky of tonight is gloomy
So does my heart.
VZ, Lospalos, January 3rd, 2017.
Honesty is very expensive!
To be honest in a truth is very costly
As you walk according to the counsel of truth
You will get insults, hatred
People say ‘how arrogant you are, how stupid you are, how you do not know anything. Step aside!’
‘Do not you be so self-righteous! Do not you be so sanctimonious!
Let the lies rule over everything to go smoothly!
Who are you to confront?‘
Really my brothers and sisters …
Lying is cheap and easy and keeps everything go smooth
We are sweet to each other
We call each other ‘friends’
But who wants to punish his heart to death?
Is it you or me?
My brothers and sisters…
Honesty for the truth is expensive
But it is the one who gives freedom of life!
VZ, March 24, 2016
“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”
― Ansel Adams
If there were a simple and practical way of time travelling around us today, then I would say that photography is one of it.
My first time encounter with David Palazon was back in 2013, at the office of the State Secretariat of Art and Culture (SSAC) in Villa Verde (today has moved to Praia dos Coqueiros Street), Dili, when I was working with UNESCO Art and Culture Programme as an administrative and programme assistant. At first sight, as a Timorese, I was a bit curious of David with his presence as a malae (foreigner in Tetum). Why does this malae willing to travel far away from Spain to Timor just to do all these fancy work of photography and all related stuff?
Before joining the UNESCO Art and Culture team, I used to think that art and culture is something fancy and has to be luxurious. But being introduced to David Palazon’s work as photographer and having the opportunity to witness his work with SSAC on the preservation programme of the tangible and intangible art and cultural heritage of Timor-Leste, made me realize the importance of art and culture documentation and preservation for Timor-Leste.
On doing his work of documenting the art and cultural events and objects in Timor-Leste through photography and videographical work, I saw that David’s passion and enthusiasm are painted in each of his work pieces. In gathering all these artistic and meaningful documentation, David also engaged the Timorese fellows in a collaborative work and together each of them express their messages on each photographical work they have produced on how rich the Timor-Leste art and culture is. From that time, I start to believe that Timor-Leste is indeed a wonderful land of art and culture and I would always admire it and appreciate it as a Timorese.
However, despite being Timorese and one can say being the owner of all this Timorese richness of art and culture heritage, a question rose in mind, how can we continue to value and preserve these heritage of art of culture? How can we share the beauty of this value of Timor-Leste art and culture to our fellow Timorese and to the world around us? As Timorese, we may already carry out the role of valuing and preserving by maintaining the continuous practice of the heritage. On the other hand, in the context of Timor-Leste’s fluctuating development progress, more effort is necessary to encourage the act of valuing and preserving the Timor-Leste art and culture. One of these efforts, as I would concern, is to have the documentation. As without it, we would lose some significant things in life.
Timor Runguranga is indeed has answered that concern of mine in a very artistic, satirical, mindful and yet heart-touching ways. When I received David’s invitation to attend the launching of the book in Timor Aid last year, I was kind of wondering, what exactly this photographical book would look like? The title word runguranga itself has caught my attention so much as it made think about messiness because runguranga as I understood it in Tetum, is everything related to messy and messiness. I had no idea why I pick up the book home only to keep it as collection and open a glimpse of it sometimes when I have a bit of free time. But once opening it, I start to promise myself that I have to go through the book and I did it at last.
After reading each page one by one, I laugh at myself on how I have underestimated this book. For me, looking at the pictures displayed inside it, has gave that sense of looking at the old family photo in a thick photo album. So nostalgic and emotional until you want to smile, laugh, frown and cry at the same time. Why? Because this book has captured how life has going on in Timor-Leste lately since its independence in 2000s. Within the decades, the runguranga essence that kept decorating the independence progress of Timor-Leste has brought us to learn many things as a new emerging country and that being runguranga has shaped us to grow along with the turmoil of the modern globalized world.
This book, being as a diary and memoir, has also capture the exchange of feelings as well as the exchange of collaboration between the insider and outsider who met in this small world of Timor-Leste and entwined them both in a world of rungurunga that only each of them can perceived when they were here. As some wise man has said; do not judge a book by its cover or do not judge people by its outer appearance then I would say do not judge a country if you have not been there. This book will confirm that saying with the collaborative work it displayed and the emotional sense each source person has shared.
This is why I found this book to be one of the inspiring photographic books I have ever seen. Apart of being a photo album, diary or memoir, this book, is also a fairytale storybook of Timor-Leste that one may share to their friends, family and children who would like to visit Timor-Leste or to see Timor-Leste in the past decades. I would also say that this book would be a collection of inspiration and motivation for me as a Timorese, to help advocate the art and culture preservation in Timor-Leste. As for the visitors who would like to know about Timor-Leste this book is very recommendable as an indirect tour guide.
To conclude, I would like to say that Timor Runguranga is the answer of my first impression quest to David himself which today I have called as maun (brother in Tetum) David, on why he is willing to travel from far-far- away land of Spain to Timor-Leste. By reflecting his Gulliverian journey throughout all territory of Timor-Leste in this book, I would call him ‘the male version of Alice in Wonderland’.
To buy the book, please follow the link below:
Further infromation about David Palazon’s work can be found in this link:
I live in Dili and I love to read novels, watching movies, listen to beautiful musics and wrote things I found interesting.
Dili, 31 July 2017
When you are here, it is noisy.
When you are not here, it is tranquil and mute.
When you are not here, there is no trouble.
When you are here, there will be trouble.
Yet from the trouble you brought with you, it had made us find the solution together.
You, noisiness, trouble and solution, we never let go of each other.
It is no use for you to continue to tell everyone a fiery story about the ugliness and bad deeds of someone in order to impress your listeners. Probably it does sound amazing telling those stories. However, one day, neither you shall be infallible of mistakes.
O, my friend, the human being is indeed not perfect at all.
VZ, Dili, 2016