Tom Nicholson with Brad Haylock, 1999 - 2003.
Traces from an action over two years as an artist book, 160 pages, three colours, 21 (h) x 15 (w) x 1.5 cm (d). Signed and dated inside cover.
Exh.: After action for another library, Humboldt University, Berlin, 28 August-3 October 2003; Curiosity kills the gab, curated by Tobias Berger, Artspace, Auckland, 2003.
On 30 August 1999 East Timorese voted overwhelmingly to become an independent nation in a ballot sponsored by the UN. Following the announcement of the result, occupying Indonesian troops carried out systematic destruction throughout East Timor. Within two weeks several thousand civilians were murdered (a precise number is unknown), 200,000 were forcibly transported to concentration camps in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia, and most significant infrastructure was destroyed.
Books were targeted for destruction. Libraries were systematically burned, amongst them the widely-used university library and the English library in Dili. Private collections of books were targeted, and in notable cases book collections of prominent intellectuals and independence activists were collected on the street where they were publicly set alight. In villages, schools were systematically destroyed. Action for another library was established in Melbourne in response to these circumstances. Thousands of books were donated by bookstores, libraries, and individuals. They were shipped to Dili in containers where they now form part of the nascent National University Library of East Timor. The title pages of some books were photographed before the books were sent to East Timor.
The artist book, After action for another library, was produced to coincide with the exhibition, After action for another library, at the Humboldt University, Berlin._ _
Background on the history of East Timor leading up to After action for another library.
Creditsfor After action for another library.
Writingon the work After action for another library.
After action for another library was generously supported by Arts Victoria, and the Australia Centre, Berlin.