Victoria Sakti and Alvaro Martinez: "Ageing (Im)mobilities and Imagination: The story of Avó Marta caring for family across borders"

  • Date: Dec 1, 2021
  • Time: 15:00
  • Location: Online Event
  • Host: easa - European Association of Social Anthropologists
Victoria Sakti and Alvaro Martinez: "Ageing (Im)mobilities and Imagination: The story of Avó Marta caring for family across borders"
AVA Award – Awarding the Prizes and Presentations [Facilitator: Barbara Pieta] - This event will celebrate the launching of the inaugural AVA Award for Best Visual Ethnographic Material. Selected works will be showcased (in accordance with copyrights) on the AGENET website, and the authors invited to present and discuss their work.
TITLE: Ageing (Im)mobilities and Imagination: The story of Avó Marta caring for family across borders

AUTHORS: Victoria Sakti and Alvaro Martinez
LINK: click here to see the project and listen to Avó Marta’s song


This project is a collaboration between two anthropologists interested in visualising ethnographic material. It illustrates an interview with Avó Marta, an East Timorese great-grandmother, and her family in Kupang, Indonesia. They arrived as refugees when massive violence broke out in Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) following the territory’s separation from Indonesia in 1999. The Indonesian 24-year occupation resulted in significant human loss and separated families that had stood or fought on opposing sides of the political conflict. Today, tens of thousands of East Timorese people live in former refugee camps and resettlements sites in Indonesia. Their everyday living conditions are marked by uncertainty, poverty and social exclusion. Many of those who chose not to return to Timor-Leste are growing older away from their homeland, and in exile.

This infographic tells the story of Avó Marta and how she perceived her later life in displacement. She spoke of longing for family members she had ‘left behind’ and, equally, those she cared for in the new settlement. The project depicts how she dealt with difficult circumstances through the forces of family, memories and imaginaries, and rituals of care for ancestors from afar.


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