Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Asulau Part One

I am just starting to edit some of the quieter images from Timor Leste. Working on one of my own projects involved me embedding myself into a small village a few kilometers west of Ermera. In the process, I lived with a Timorese family. They shared everything. They made sure I had a bed to sleep in, food to eat, access to boiled water, washing facilities, etc. No one else in the village spoke English, and toilet paper was no where to be found. It was the real experience.

In exchange for the families hospitality, I supplied a laptop so they (and the rest of the town) could watch DVDs, and was a celebrity photographer around the village. This was quiet challenging, as I generally hate set up photos, posed portraits, etc. I like to capture what is there and is natural, which becomes difficult when 6 children follow you down the road. Here are the most natural images I could find.
Bolonia, 9 (I think). One of the young girls in the family whom I lived with.
In a very patriarchal society women are left to cook, clean, bear children, etc. Nona, 12, sweeps the ground in the morning.
A young boy, party of my entourage of 30, joining me in a walk to the river.
A local boy joining me on my walk to the river.
Newly born twins in a traditional Timorese house.
It was rice season in the area. Fields are harvested and then burnt.
Martial arts are popular amongst young boys in Timor Leste. Karate, Taekwondo, as well as local styles are popular and clubs have been set up to accommodate it. 
I think I quickly became a bit of a distraction.
An old lady spreads coffee beans out with a stick in order to dry them. I am pretty sure this was just her personal stash. Everyone in Timor drinks coffee. I saw a father feeding his 3 or 4 year old coffee.
Dinner with Marcellina's family. I am not sure if there were just many under the one roof (It is common for Timorese women to have between 6 to 9 children, and I have heard stories of up to 17 in Dili), or if she had invited her extended family over for dinner with the foreigner.
I bought my laptop to Asulau as to upload images and back up memory. The village had different ideas. Every time I tried to work, I would develop and audience. At night, the village decided to have a screening of DVDs. at one time, there were 55 people in the room. The village's power supply consists of solar, which is generally enough to keep the lights running, but barely enough to fully charge a laptop. So they bought in two other car batteries (which the solar charge is stored in) from other houses to watch films.

More To Follow!

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