About Crimson Threads




Using text, voice, music and image, crimson threads seeks to explore how healing cultures of friendship and kinship form around resistance, loss and war despite institutionalised barriers.

Crimson Threads, the documentary, began in 1999, with the formation of the Friends of Suai. a local government initiative of the Council of Pt Phillip, near Melbourne in the South East of Australia.
The aim of the Friends of Suai, is to help rebuild the South West border town of Suai in East Timor over a ten year period from 2000 to 2010. Suai is a town on the South coast of East Timor near the West Timor border devastated by an Indonesian and militia initiated campaign of violence after the East Timorese referendum for independence on August 30, 1999.

Story pathways begin from where friends of Suai in both countries, enter the story in time and place. As a visitor you can choose to begin your journey through architectural & open spaces in the panoramas, or in chronological order, through the chronological memory tree. The places are sometimes literal and sometimes symbolic. For example the house in Suai is the actual house of a personal friend of the writer, but it also hold stories about other friends who do not live there, but for whom 'home' best represents the space within which the friendship formed and continued. The little 'stage' represents a lot of performance taped there in 2000 at the first anniversary of the Suai Church Massacre, but also links to 'performances' which took place in other buildings and spaces.

The tree is a symbol for the Timorese Hali tree and the classical memory tree of Greek origins. In both cultures the tree was/is used as a mnemonic device and metaphor for the organic character of human memory in oral cultures, though with variances on how it is imagined and employed. On the tree you can begin in the past and visit some history in the roots of the tree, begin in 1999 when the Friends of Suai project began, or enter the story at any point in time you wish. Through the tree you can follow the narrative journey of the site as the writer finds it. In the ultimate and desired manifestation of the site, there will be links between the tree and the spaces. This will depend on time and money!

Crimson Threads has a Links page through which you can explore the history of East Timor's struggle in more detail, investigate the practical workings of the Friends of Suai through their site and contact them. It also has links to another twenty or so local government friendship programs which you may wish to investigate.

The Flash element of the site was built by Victorian University Students in 2002. The html aspect of the site is being written and translated by Jen Hughes and Alarico da Sena.July 2004 and has been built by Katie Hodgkinson and Loraine Frendo.









More information about Crimson Threads