Belonging to the Streets by Nicholas Bartlett

A research essay, incorporating photographs.

About this project: "As a part of the Independent Research Subject (MULT30015) I spent two weeks in Dili during December interviewing and speaking to local artists, NGOs and government advisors. Then, working with my supervisor, Dr Edwin Jurriens, I produced a mini dissertation. This is the final product. It includes an essay, photographs I took and snippets of dialogue with interviewees."

Scroll down to download this piece and find out more about the contributing artist.

A picture of graffiti on a wall in Timor L'Este

About the artist: "Between 2018 and 2020, I undertook an Arts degree majoring in History and a concurrent Diploma in French. When COVID initially surfaced, I was on exchange in Paris studying at the Paris Institute of Political Sciences. Since then, I have left the University of Melbourne; I am now beginning a degree in History and Modern Languages at Cambridge University in October, 2020. South East Asian History has always been a strong area of interest for me. In January 2018, I spent two weeks teaching at a Jesuit School in Railaco, a mountain region a few hours from Timor-Leste’s capital, Dili. In December 2019, I returned to Dili and spent two weeks interviewing local artists, government consultants and NGOs. It was after this particular trip that I wrote an extended essay based on my research. Currently, I am a Deputy Features Editor at Varsity, the Cambridge University student magazine."

We asked, our artists answered: why does creativity matter now? "I view the world as a fairly messy place. Though, more recently, I have begun to look at this messiness more favorably; this change of thought was, in part, inspired by a close friend. Now, I see, within the current state of the world, an opportunity to find clarity. Whenever I sit to write, I give myself the opportunity to better make sense of the world and my reactions to it. I can’t write if my mind is elsewhere, or even slightly distracted. And so, in this way, I find creative practice to be a form of enforced mindfulness."