I have been trying to track down people I had photographed during East Timor’s fight for independence in 1999. The project’s aim is to find the survivors and continue to tell their stories, a task made even more difficult by the fact I had made the decision not to record names at that time, not wanting my notes to fall into the wrong hands and place people at risk. It was a dangerous time for everyone.
In 2011, my partner, UNMIT photographer Martine Perret and her colleague Dino Soares, helped find a family I had photographed in Dili back then. The photograph shows the family having just returned to the burnt out remains of their home. It was tense, as rampaging Militia, alongside Indonesian soldiers, were continuing to torch nearby buildings. I was immediately struck by that look of concern on the father’s face. I took a photograph and moved on.
East Timorese return to the burnt out remains of their homes only to find rogue elements with the departing Indonesian Military burning nearby buildings. Guterres Family, Dili East Timer, September 1999
On March 22nd, 2011, it was an absolute pleasure to be finally introduced to Marsal Guterres and his family, wife Tereza Da Silva Almeida Dos Santos, daughter Martina Margarida Guterres, 13 years old, and son, Jacinto Guterres Da Silva, 11. A print of the original photograph now hangs proudly in their small home.
Guterres Family, Dili East Timor 2011 (Nikon D3s)
To find out more about David Dare Parker, visit www.daviddareparker.com.