Safeguarding the memory of the birth of a Portuguese language nation
The University of Coimbra (UC) and the National University of East Timor signed an agreement with a view to preserve and disseminate the Max Stahl Archive, for teaching and research purposes. The Max Stahl Archive has five thousand hours of video, which portrays the birth of the youngest Portuguese-speaking nation.
The Timorese people still face a huge effort in the nation building process, in which the Portuguese language plays a fundamental role, opening up new avenues of cooperation between the two peoples. This aspect is depicted in the ground-breaking documentary of Max Stahl, “A Língua, A Luta, A Nação” (The Language, the Fight, the Nation), produced with the support of UC and premiered in December 2016, which marked the 25th year of the Santa Cruz massacre.
The University of Coimbra has a long history of supporting the Timorese people’s fight. Examples include the enrolment of Xanana Gusmão as a UC student during his captivity in Cipinang and the creation of the TimorNet in 1994, a leading reference Internet service about the territory during some of the hardest times of the Indonesian occupation.
In 2011, Xanana Gusmão received the Honoris Causa degree from the University of Coimbra, and in 2012 the Rector of the University of Coimbra received the Merit Medal “Taur Matam Ruak” from the President of the Democratic Republic of East Timor for the University’s role in the support of the National Freedom Fight.