image of the book cover of Flowers in the Wall: Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, and Melanesia

Flowers in the Wall: Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, and Melanesia

Edited by David Webster

$34.95 CAD / $34.95 USD (S)

376 pages, 6 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

Hardback: 1552389545

Paperback: 978-1-55238-954-6

Epub: 978-1-55238-957-7

Library PDF: 978-1-55238-956-0

January 2018

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What is the experience of truth and reconciliation? What is the purpose of a truth commission? What lessons can be learned from established truth and reconciliation processes?

Flowers in the Wall explores the experience of truth and reconciliation Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific, with and without a formal truth commission. Although much has been written about the operational phases of truth commissions, the efforts to establish these commissions and the struggle to put their recommendations into effect are often overlooked. Examining both the pre- and post-truth commission phases, this volume explores a diversity of interconnected scholarship with each chapter forming part of a concise narrative.

Well-researched and balanced, this book explores the effectiveness of the truth commission as transnational justice, highlighting its limitations and offering valuable lessons Canadians, and all others, facing similar issues of truth and reconciliation.

About the Editor

David Webster is Associate Professor of History at Bishop’s University. He is the author of Fire and the Full Moon: Canada and Indonesia in a Decolonizing World and collection editor of East Timor: Testimony.

With Contributions By: Sarah Zwierzchowski, Geoffrey Robinson, Pat Walsh, Jacqueline Aquino Siapno, Laurentina “mica” Barreto Soares, Jess Augustin, Fernanda Borges, Maria Manuela Leong, Baskara Wardaya, Bernd, Gatot Lestario, Lia Kent, Rizki Amalia Affiat, Arianto Sangadji, Jenny Munro, Todd Biderman, Julian Smythe, Terry M. Brown, Edmund McWilliams, Betty Lina Gigisi, and Maggie Helwig

Praise for Flowers in the Wall:

This book is extremely useful to scholars, activists, and local communities.

—Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge, Pacific Affairs

Very readable . . . A highly valuable book that does an admirable job of broadening the voices we hear about truth and reconciliation.

—Rebecca Gidley, The Journal of Pacific History

Table of Contents




Introduction: Memory, Truth, and Reconciliation in Timor–Leste, Indonesia, and Melanesia

David Webster

Incomplete Truth, Incomplete Reconciliation: Towards a Scholarly Verdict on Truth and Reconciliation Comissions

Sarah Zwierzchowski

Section I: Memory, Truth and Reconciliation in Timor–Leste

East Timor: Legacies of Violence
Geoffrey Robinson

Shining Chega!‘s Light Into the Cracks
Pat Walsh

Politika Taka Malu, Censorship, and Silencing: Virtuosos of Clandestinity and One’s Relationship to Truth and Memory
Jacqueline Aquino Siapno

Development and Foreign Aid in Timor–Leste after Independence

Laurentina "Mica" Barreto Soares

Reconciliation, Church, and Peacebuilding
Jess Agustin

Human Rights and Truth
Fernanda Borges

Chega! for Us: Socializing a Living Document
Maria Manuela Leong Pereira

Section II: Memory, Truth–seeking, and the 1965 Mass Killings in Indonesia

Cracks in the Wall: Indonesia and Narratives in the 1965 Mass Violence

Baskara T. Wardaya

The Touchy Historiography of Indonesia’s 1965 Mass Killings: Intractable Blockades?

Bernd Schaefer

Writings of an Indonesian Political Prisoner

Gatot Lestario

Section III: Local Truth and Reconciliation in Indonesia

Gambling with Truth: Hopes and Challenges for Aceh’s Commission for Truth and Reconciliation
Lia Kent and Rizki Affiat

All about the Poor: an Alternative Explanation of the Violence in Poso
Arianto Sangadji

Section IV: Where Indonesia meets Melanesia: Memory, Truth, and Reconciliation in Tanah Paupa

Facts, Feasts, and Forests: Considering Approaches to Truth and Reconciliation an Tanah Paupa
Todd Biderman and Jenny Munro

The Living Symbol of Song in West Paupa: A Soul Force to be Recknoed With
Julian Smythe

Time for a New US Approach towards Indonesia and West Paupa
Edmund McWilliams

Section V: Memory, Truth, and Reconciliation in Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands "Ethnic Tension" Conflict and the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Terry M. Brown

Women and Reconciliation in Solomon Islands

Betty Lina Gigisi

Section VI: Bringing it Home

Reflecting on Reconciliation

Maggie Helwig

Conclusion: Seeking Truth about Truth–seeking
David Webster