VICKIE ZHANG


cultural geographer

affect, mobilities, work
negativity 
economic + affective transitions







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Video — “Never Lost: Journey Across Timor’s Mountains and Sea”

I had the great fortune and pleasure of joining this year’s East Timor Field Class this July, which has been led and run by Prof Lisa Palmer for students of the Geography program at the University of Melbourne for many years — and in collaboration with Timor’s Haburas Foundation in its last several iterations.

In light of the announcement of the 2023 Timor-Leste Tourism Short Film Awards, we decided to put together a short video about the field class, drawing on footage I filmed during this year’s 12-day trip. It’s a straight up promotional video — with requisite drone-shot vistas of sweeping landscapes — but it was a lot of fun to edit together with Lisa, and we hope it gives you a flavour of the field class, which is genuinely life-changing in its scope, sensitivity and intercultural-interspecies-morethanhuman-learnings and humblings. My life certainly feels changed after it. We were pleased to be shortlisted for the awards, with the short film screened at the "Explore the Undiscovered" Tourism Short Film Festival held at Fundação Oriente in Dili in October.

The music is by Haburas’ inimitable Reynato de Oliveira, who joined us for the trip with his guitar, and was recorded live and impromptu. My thanks go to Lisa, Susanna Barnes, Alex Cullen and the folks at Haburas — Pedrito, Jimy, Cancio, Aju, Rey — for the warmest welcome, the daily Tetum lessons, and my newfound obsession with Xina Timor (the 500+ year history of Chinese migration to Timor-Leste).
10/2023



Tagline: Since 2015, Haburas Foundation have partnered with the University of Melbourne's Geography program to run life-changing study tours of Timor-Leste. In this film, join the 2023 class as they embark on an awe-inspiring journey across mountains and sea.