East Timor only gained independence in 1999, and times haven't been easy in the wake of the country's 2006 civil unrest. The youth, who make up about 60% of the country, have--quite literally--taken to the streets.
The walls of East Timor are covered with peace signs and messages of hope for change, signaling a country still in flux. A bona fide street art tradition is emerging from the slogans, and this follows a now-familiar tradition of liberated states. Other nations around the world who've experienced rapid change, such as Egypt, have also seen a rise in street art, as well as a greater demand for their art internationally.
The short film below is by Chris Parkinson, who published a book last year titled "Peace of Wall: Street Art from East Timor." From the press release, "Chris Parkinson spent four years living and working in East Timor. Throughout this time, he documented the changing political and social climate in the country through the graffiti expressed on the country’s surfaces." Parkinson was interviewed here, and you can also check out his blog here.
Though the street art scene in East Timor is young, there are already artists who have begun establishing a recognizable style. Check out some of their work in the video below, and tell us your thoughts in the comments.