May 2017

Review: Small Talk (日常對話)

Small Talk, directed by Huang Hui-Chen, is in many ways a remarkable film, but it is also an incredibly unsettling one. Small Talk is a highly personal film, as a documentary detailing Huang’s relation with her mother, Ah-Nu. In particular, Huang’s relation with her mother, who works as a Daoist priestess, is troubled because of Ah-Nu’s emotional distance, as well as that Ah-Nu, a lesbian, had two daughters from an abusive marriage... Read More

Much Commentary On Lin Yi-Han’s Suicide Misses The Point

The scandal which has followed on the feet of bestselling author Lin Yi-Han’s suicide after a bout of depression resulting from her rape by a cram school teacher nine years ago has, unfortunately, in many cases been revealing of the depths of entrenched sexism and misogyny in much of Taiwanese society. But much commentary has still largely missed the point in how to address the larger social issues at stake... Read More

Reflexive Defensiveness Of The Trump Administration From Western Commentators On Taiwan?

It is strange to observe the means by which many otherwise sharp western observers on Taiwanese politics, particularly Americans, continue to cling to strange delusions regarding Trump’s potential positive influence on Taiwan or at least his lack of any harmful influence on Taiwan. Such views may ultimately be reflexive in nature for many... Read More

Are There Lessons From South Korea’s Presidential Election For Taiwan?

The victory of Moon Jae-In as president of South Korea draws strong parallels to Taiwan, with the election of a center-left president put into power after a social movement which galvanized much of society. But we can observe where structural parallels between Taiwan and South Korea end, given that as a center-left political candidate, Moon is skeptical of closer ties between South Korea and the US... Read More

Can Taiwan Use Exclusion From The WHA To Raise Awareness Of Its Plight Internationally?

If the Tsai administration is careful about it, Taiwan’s exclusion from this year’s meeting of the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, can ultimately serve as an opportunity to raise Taiwan’s international profile and raise awareness of international bullying of Taiwan by China... Read More

Author Suicide Prompts Public Outcry

The suicide of bestselling author Lin Yi-Han has provoked no shortage of editorializing and public discussion in Taiwan, seeing as Lin's suicide is attributed to depression over a sexual assault incident which occurred nine years ago in a cram school, the perpetrator being a teacher at the cram school. Lin’s bestselling novel, which was autobiographical in nature, detailed the incident... Read More