Artists-in-residence projects

MHI regularly hosts visiting artists and arts workers from across Timor-Leste, Australia and other countries who come to share their skills and learn about Fataluku and Timorese culture. 

 These have included:

2018- Simao, Arte Morris, Timorese Artist from Dili: facilitated a five-day creative workshop where students learned how to paint on glass and then organised a community exhibition to celebrate their creative achievements with their families.  

2018- Lena Caminha from Teatro Timor, Timorese Artist from Dili:  facilitated a five-day workshop where young local students from the MHI Creative Arts Program created a theatre performance to showcase at a special community event. Four short performance pieces were created including a story about kids spending all their time on Facebook and missing out on fun opportunities in the community; a story about early teen pregnancy and the importance of education for girls; a story about Barlake; and a comedy stint. These themes were brainstormed by the students and Lena worked from their stories to create the performances. Students engaged in the visual arts program created a stunning backdrop for the final show that drew a large crowd of parents, family members and the broader community. 

Visiting international artists from previous years have included:

2016- Australian-Japanese dancer-choreographer Yumi Umiumare: Internationally recognised Australian-Japanese dancer-choreographer Yumi Umiumare completed an artist-in-residence with MHI where she sought  to observe and learn about Timorese culture, especially ideas around ritual and magic. During her residency she exchanged dance practices with Timorese dancers and created an art installation peice with MHI art students where she shared informal Japanese Tea ceremonies with community members. The development of her Pop-Up Tearoom series has been performed around the world: in Japan, Germany, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia. Her Tearoom series explores the sort of TEA we can make in a modern world of overwhelming information and choices. More information

2016- Dance Movement with Emily Boyd, Erika Goldsmith and Madeleine Boyd, from Kinetics Movement Collective, Queensland lead a workshop with local dance group Sangar Haburas focussing on the use of dance and movement to develop body awareness and explore creative expression.  The intention was that these activities would help improve communication, support relationship development, manage stress and anxiety, and promote self-care.

2015-2016- Australian Flute Player and International Performer, Lina Andonovska: Lina came to Timor directly from a highly acclaimed tour of the UK and Europe, where she had been playing flute as a member of the Crash Ensemble. Lina has worked with MHI in Timor-Leste twice before, first in 2011 as a student of the Australian National Academy of Music, when she supported our first Asialink resident Gillian Howell, and then in 2013 when she accompanied MHI Director Kim Dunphy on a workshop and performing tour of Ainaro district. Lina's residency included workshops with children in Kakavei village, Lautem district and collaboration with traditional oi-oil flute player Sr Henrique Lopes in Malahara, Lautem district. She also presented contemporary flute works in a variety of performance situations, including at the Lautem Cultural Centre stage as part of the November 28 celebrations. She contributed to MHI's Fataluku culture research project, offering technical information about musical instruments that expanded the project's findings. More information

2015- Australian Creative Writer,  University of Queensland: Emily worked with twenty young people in Lospalos offering them the opportunity to develop expertise in creative writing.  Students explored some of the key themes of creative writing, beginning with an idea inspired by everyday life. They developed their stories through plot twists, character mapping, writing dialogue, and scene-setting through description. Each student  authored his or her own story, and then designed and illustrated it to prepare for a story circle presentation at the end of the program. A range of stories emerged in the writing process, from personal, aspirational stories to stories inspired by traditional Timorese tales. More information

2014- Dutch Fashion Design Teacher, Ineke Siersema: Ineke ran a one day workshop with local dance groups where they created new costumes for their their upcoming local performance. 

2013- Australian Writer Marian Ried, University of Queensland: Marian spent three weeks with MHI in Lospalos for her Masters in Communication for Social Change practicum. Her first project was to deliver a workshop for MHI staff in story gathering and photovoice. The training was designed to bring a new perspective to the research and documentation work that MHI has been doing, by training staff members in how to take powerful photos that tell a story, how to develop stories and how to construct interview questions that can shape a story. This approach was followed up with exercises in Photovoice as a way to facilitate story telling and the technique of using photos to explore community issues. More information

2011-2012- Community Theatre with Australian Artist Catherine Simmonds: Catherine worked with the community of Lautem to create a theatre performance Afi Kultura: Storia Lafane Mamene Jejene (Our Culture: Many Different Stories), which re-presented traditional ratu (clan) stories from the Lautem district. The show brought together lia-nain (cultural leaders), expert women weavers and 40 young performers from local performing arts group Sanggar Haburas.  This performance was unique in many ways. It was the first time that ratu stories had been performed through the medium of theatre, the first time that six different ratu had shared their stories in public and the first time that the local community has ever heard these stories together. It was also the first time that the telling of the ratu creation stories had ever been accompanied by another art form and the first time that many people in the community had ever witnessed live theatre. More information 

2010-2011- Australian Musician, Composer and Creative Director, Gillan Howell: Gillian spent 14 weeks in Timor with MHI where she developed a community music projects with local community members and organisations in Baucau and Lospalos. In Baucau, Gillian worked with Marqy da Costa and colleagues from Afalyca Art School, local womens' group Centru Feto Haburas Desivolvimentu (see Gillian's photo at right), and school students. Together they created a performance 'Right to Play' for Human Rights Day. In Lospalos, Gillian led formal workshops, performances and informal jams in a range of locations, including in a kindergarten, English language classes, the hill village of Kakavei, the ADM Convent, Community Radio Lospalos and her front verandah. She was supported in her work in Lospalos and Baucau by musician Tony Hicks (Australian Art Orchestra). In the last two weeks of Gillian's residency, musicians Lina Andonovska, Rachel Cashmore and Doug Coghill from the Australian National Academy of Music, where Gillian is Program Director, Community Engagement, joined Gillian and participated in her workshops and performances. Gillian's residency in Lospalos ended with a community Toka Boot (Big Jam) in the Merkadu Antigu in the centre of town, to which more than 500 people attended. More information

We welcome expressions of interest from artists who might wish to come and work with us.
Contact Director Amy Stevenson at: 

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