Dili, Timor-leste, Adorned with the Colors of Peace

:Painting Hope with HWPL Peace Mural Project, Inspiring the Timor-Leste Community through the Art of Arte Moris

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(International) Mudansa -Under the United Nations-affiliated NGO Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), and in collaboration with the HWPL youth organization IPYG, the “Peace Mural Project” was conducted from July to September 2023 at the Xanana Sports Centre in Dili, the capital of Timor-leste.

Government officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister of Timor-leste, the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts, and Culture, and the Minister of Education and Higher Education, participated by providing public spaces for the mural. Around 40 volunteers, including young artists from six local art organizations and students, worked together to infuse the area with peace and hope.

The mural was created under the theme “Love Myself, Love My Family, Love My Country, Love Peace, and Love HWPL.” Through this project, HWPL aimed to heal the citizens of Timor-leste with love and peace and to unite the local community.

The art organization in Timor-leste, Arte Moris, dedicated their commitment and passion as volunteers for this project. They assisted young people in expressing themselves and freely creating the mural. Arte Moris director Iliwatu Danabere stated, “I believe that peace must be nurtured with passion and love like a plant. I see this Peace Mural Project as a perfect opportunity to continuously promote peace in Timor-leste.

Timor-leste finally gained independence in 2002 after enduring Indonesian military occupation and extreme violence from 1975 to 1999. During the internal conflict crisis in 2006, Timorese artists conducted peace campaigns across the country, creating posters and murals to help restore peace. Arte Moris also participated in those campaigns, engaging in projects similar to the Peace Mural Project. They continue to help the people of Timor-leste rebuild their lives through art. HWPL collaborates with the Timor-leste government and local communities to promote social recovery and unity through a culture of peace.

*Interview with Iliwatu Danabere, Director of the Timor-leste Art Group Arte Moris*
*Q What made you join the peace mural project with HWPL?*

Arte Moris is a large group in Timor-Leste. We came together because we had already succeeded in peace campaigns during the civil crisis in 2006. Our mission is the same as that of HWPL, which is carrying out peace movements worldwide with the aim of healing a world suffering from war and conflict.

*Q2. If you have any memorable moments or touching stories during the project, can you share them?*

This project was made possible through the great collaboration of peace-loving people. I was moved by the members who voluntarily provided food, water, and materials for the volunteers. Additionally, a vast amount of paint was needed to cover approximately 54 meters of the wall, and the support of the Vinod Patel company in Timor-leste enabled us to start the project. Though some colors ran out along the way, members provided additional materials.

*Q3. How do you think HWPL’s peace activities in East Timor and around the world will develop in 5 years?*

HWPL’s peace activities are developing globally and receiving much support. The seeds of peace that HWPL has sown in Timor-leste have sprouted, and we want to nurture them into a tree of peace. To sustain peace, all citizens must realize the value of peace and make efforts step by step in their daily lives.

After the first mural project, the previously dull city walls were transformed into vibrant art spaces reflecting the culture of Timor-leste. Many citizens visit the murals and experience the atmosphere of peace. HWPL plans to further expand its cooperation with local communities in Timor-leste through various initiatives such as mural painting, World Alliance of Religions’ Peace Office, and peace journalism education.

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