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21 Sep 2014
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A large-scale public arts festival celebrating the transformative power of art in Nation Building and democratic discourse.

Dili’s first ever Public Arts Festival & Workshop Series took place from the 25-31 August 2014, drawing artists from across South East Asia and the Pacific. It encompassed a variety of art forms: presenting works, performances and events free of charge across the city in abandoned buildings, in public parklands, in popular restaurants and unpopular corner stores, in shipping containers, off the backs of trucks, out from the seas and across the streets.

The festival was a unique celebration and vibrant space for skill exchange, bringing together artists from the region to collaborate in the creation a cross cultural, cross art-form public platform open to the people of Dili and its surrounds. This is public art made on a large scale for the first time in the world’s second newest nation, the first time there has been city wide celebrations of art and creativity.

Across the week, alongside the defined program of events, anywhere at any time, the world could take a turn for the unexpected with a sudden outburst of performance. Flash mobs blossomed along the water front; musical and performance groups appeared on busy streets; buildings long since abandoned ware transformed into sculptures, galleries and concert halls. Arte Publiku changed the way the city thinks about itself, about life, about the possibilities that the future can hold.

ARTE PUBLIKU! brought artists from across Timor together with International artists from across South East Asia, Europe, and the Pacific, to share their practice and engage in collaborations. From the traditional to the contemporary, Arte Publiku facilitated interaction between multiple nations, across generations and was the first large-scale collection of art groups from Timor-Leste.

Across the Festival period, a dynamic environment for artistic exchange, collaboration, workshops and education for artists, facilitators, students and the public was created, coinciding with a series of citywide exhibitions, events, performances and interventions across Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital. The workshop series and festival facilitated intergenerational and regional dialogue around art, creativity, activism, and democratic participation in a free and developing Timor-Leste and continues to inform enduring strategies towards greater creative collaboration across the region.

More Information on the program, artists and events can be found at

Creatives: Elizabeth Adams, Casimiro Valentim, TERTIL, Gembel Art Collective, KLAN, Arte Ramelau, LO'UD, Many Hands International, Animatism, Etson Caminha, Thomas Henning, Agivedo Ribeiro, Bety Reis, Cesario Lourdes, Cha-ching Lay
Australia Collaboration Contemporary Art Festival Indonesia Intercultural Public Art Timor
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