Australian professional photographer, Bob Hannan, made two visits to Portuguese East Timor after the short 1975 civil war.
Working for Murdoch press, he was among the contingent of media representatives which flew into Fretilin-controlled Dili for two days on 11 September 1975.
Taking leave without pay, Hannan returned to Timor later in September to capture more imagery of this dramatic period in Timor’s modern history.
The original (employer-owned) negatives of his first visit were reportedly discarded in a Darwin office clean out. Fortunately, the negatives from his later private trip survive in his hands.
Hannan has generously allowed CHART to digitise his negatives for archival purposes and to feature them here.
Atabae, Balibo, Batugade 1975
Bob Hannan’s ten rolls of black & white negative film include a few images from Dili, but are dominated by pictures of a journey to the troubled western border area.
In company with Australian Associated Press journalist, Rick Collins, and escorted by Fretilin soldiers, Hannan travelled to a major Falintil military base at Atabae. The contingent then travelled to Fretilin-held Balibo from where Hannan (but not Collins) joined a Falintil patrol of Batugade where he recorded images from a skirmish with anti-Fretilin remnants.
Images from this journey were a feature of Jill Jolliffe’s 1978 book East Timor: Nationalism & Colonialism, but have not been widely seen since.
Identifying faces: Your help needed
Please contact us if you can identify people or places in the images, or add information on the events pictured, so that data can be assigned to the images for future generations of East Timorese.
Comment directly on the online photographs (you have to sign up to Flickr), add a comment to this Blog post or email us at blog[at]timorarchives.info
1. Bob Hannan reserves his rights for any reproduction of these images. Requests for use of any images should be directed through CHART (Email: chart[at]timorarchives.info).
2. Captions are yet to be added to the images. This will occur as time permits and your data on people and other content is received.
3. About half of the images in Hannan’s collection are featured on Flickr. A set of ‘proof sheets’ of all 200+ images is in preparation and will be published here at a later date.