Review: Homeland: Edge of Desolation
If the artwork of Hwang Buh-Ching can be said to be concerned with the artistic representation of “homeland,” as his current exhibition “Homeland: Edge of Desolation” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei suggests in representing Taiwan, Hwang points to both falsity and authenticity.
Review: Wanted: Dean I-Mei: A Retrospective
The specter of Taiwanese politics is everywhere in the artwork of Dean I-Mei. While, certainly, the artist himself poses his recent exhibition in light of a search for personal identity in the title “Wanted Dean I-Mei,” his search for individual identity is one deeply bound up with Taiwan’s state of unbelonging in the world.
Review: Meeting Dr. Sun (行動代號孫中山)
Meeting Dr. Sun (行動代號孫中山) tells of a group of poor Taiwanese high school students’elaborate plot to steal an unused Sun Yat-Sen (孫中山) statue from their high school and sell it for scrap metal.
Music Video: 灰色地帶 / Grey Area
Film: 戒不了癮 / Can’t Quit You
“Can’t Quit You” is an autobiographical short film about Zico, a hair stylist based in Hsinchu, Taiwan. It’s the story of his first love, a relationship with a man called Yin that blossomed when Zico began his career as a hairstyling assistant in Hsinchu.
Photos: Sunflower Retrospective by Justim Pam
This photo series shows the lead singer of the Taiwanese band Fire EX (滅火器), Sam Yang (楊大正）, when he visited to the Legislative Yuan chamber to support the students and teach them how to sing one of his songs.
Interview: J. Michael Cole, Part II
This is the second installment of the two-part interview with J. Michael Cole conducted by Brian Hioe regarding his editorship of Thinking Taiwan, the relation of journalism and activism, and his recently released book, Officially Unofficial: Confessions of a journalist in Taiwan.
Interview: J. Michael Cole, Part I
The first installment of the two-part interview with J. Michael Cole conducted by Brian Hioe regarding the nature of journalism, his own career path as one of the prominent voices in English-language journalism about Taiwan, and the contemporary state of journalism in Taiwan.
With conflict raging in Gaza, many of us concerned with Taiwan have grasped around the back of our minds for a connection and possible lesson. For while the situation on the ground share little resemblance, both contexts share one indisputable quality: both the Taiwanese and Palestinians lack an internationally recognized state.
Japan, the Jadeite Cabbage and the KMT’s Regime of Truth
Last week, a rare row arose between Taiwan and Japan over the Jadeite Cabbage. The artifact, originally crafted for one of the Qing emperor Guangxu’s notable concubines, is a prized possession and tourist favorite at the National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院) in Taipei.
Power and Discourse
Over the last thirty years, there’s been a slowly manifesting trend in regard to Taiwan’s international position, a series of processes that amount collectively to a single linear motion, and which offers no small indication of the future of Taiwanese democracy. I speak, of course, of Taiwan’s growing isolation in the international arena.
The Impossibility of Democracy in Hong Kong?
Does the possibility exist for Hong Kong to attain democracy? This question has yet to be settled. In the face of China’s refusal to allow non-vetted candidates to run for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, the highest political position in the Hong Kong government, the stage is set for Occupy Central to once again seize control of Hong Kong’s Central district, the city’s financial and economic heart.
From Out of KMT Party Education, Towards the Path of Justice
I was once a supporter of the KMT. When I was young I worshipped President Chiang Kai-shek’s heroic deeds in the war against Japan, appreciated his opposition to Communism, and was grateful for him founding Taiwan.
Civil Revolt in Miaoli County?
This past Friday, approximately 200 protestors gathered outside of the former site of Chang Pharmacy in Dapu, Miaoli. One year ago on July 18th, 2013, the family-owned pharmacy was forcibly demolished in order to make way for commercial development. In September, owner Chang Sen-wen (張森文) was found dead under a bridge. The death was ruled a suicide by police, but there are those who remain suspicious, including Chang’s son.
It would seem that Asia is in the streets these days. Three months have passed since Taiwan’s Sunflower movement. With the revival of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central in new form, sovereignty issues regarding mainland China and questions of democracy have generally taken center stage whereas Chinese speaking countries and territories on China’s periphery are concerned.
Looking Back on 323
Bolao (伯勞) is the pseudonym of an American of Taiwanese descent living in Taipei.Through a strange set of circumstances, though an American by birth and upbringing, he was involved in the attempt invade and occupy the Executive Yuan, Taiwan’s executive branch of government. The following is his investigation into and personal account of the Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan occupation, both of which he was a participant in.
Class Mobility and Status Groups in Taiwan
The possibility of social mobility has been a well-argued topic in advanced countries. The U.S. was once considered the place of the “American dream”, in which people could move upward as long as he/she worked hard enough because America was a place with plenty of opportunities. But class differentiation and stratification are not a unique phenomenon to the U.S. If we look at today’s Taiwan, stagnated mobility can be considered the most pressing issue for the younger generations.
The 121st Day of the Songyan Occupation
On its 121st day, the longstanding Songyan occupation, protesting the unlawful cutting down of trees in the area outside the site of the future Taipei Dome, near Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, faced its greatest tribulation to date. A police raid upon the occupation encampment was conducted at 2 AM which, according to those present, brought in approximately forty to fifty police officers.
距離 2014 年底大選約莫還有三個月的時間，但自今年初起，選舉新聞已經大舉佔領各類媒體。雖然年底舉辦的大選包含六都直轄市市長、其他縣市長及議員等，但媒體矚目且曝光度最高的仍是台北市與新北市首長的爭奪戰。新北市的候選人仍是依循傳統藍綠分庭抗禮，就選戰本質來說並無太大新意，而台北市長選情及候選人相較之下則讓人想要看看「究竟這些人要怎麼玩下去」。
Social Movements from an International Perspective
I have participated in social movements for close to two years, thanks to the Ma administration, but this year, Taiwan social movements surged up with a raising of people’s consciousness of social issues. But while these can be called “movements,” these usually address domestic issues such as urban renewal, land development, labor disputes, and conservation. Issues which are not domestic such as cross-strait relations, the military, and discussions of foreign affairs are not usually talked about.
筆者本次到美國，是受福爾摩沙基金會（Formosa Foundation）之邀，以太陽花運動參與者的身分參加該基金會今年的大使計畫（Ambassador Program 2014）。該營隊為期 12 天，第一週的內容是授課，講者從學者、智庫、到商業協會都有，內容包括台美關係發展史、東亞軍事、世界貿易/協議/組織、中國崛起等，第二週則是計畫的重頭戲，分組至國會各辦公室遊說，為期四天，每組一天約拜訪十個辦公室，整個計畫共計拜訪了將近120個議員辦公室（包括參議院與眾議院）。
Taiwan Minus the KMT?
Following the Sunflower Movement, there have been voices have now begun to speak of eliminating the KMT. And it must be wondered what exactly a Taiwanese political spectrum devoid of the KMT would look like. After all, having existed for the entire duration of what we can speak of as “Taiwanese politics,” it is hard to imagine what Taiwanese politics, period, would look like minus the KMT.
台灣2014年三月太陽花運動在新加坡引起了兩種比較明顯的反應。星國主流媒體和官方一般以亂象看待太陽花。民間和社會媒體則藉著這次運動，開始從新認識政府權限和公民參與的問題。怎麼說是「從新認識」？其實，上世紀五、六十年代，也就是台灣戒嚴、白色恐怖時代，正是星國反殖民、學生、公會等運動最活躍的時候。五、六十多年後的今天，星國在人民行動黨長期嚴厲執政下，似乎遺忘了自己的這段歷史。而太陽花在台灣盛開的時候，也正好碰上了英國政府開放大量外交與英聯邦辦公室（Foreign and Commonwealth Office）和殖民地辦公室（Colonial Office）的歷史檔案。這兩件似乎沒有關聯的事情放在一起，再加上星國近幾年在人口、公共交通、貧富懸殊、房價、物價上受到的衝激，啟發了關心社會議題的新加坡人對政治制度的反思。
Where Have All the Sunflowers Gone?
During one of the initial planning meetings for New Bloom approximately a month after the end of the Legislative Yuan occupation, one editor wryly pointed out that during the height of the Sunflower movement, it was very hard to find sunflowers in flower shops—but now it was easy to do so again.
When it comes to politicians, what is the first image that comes to mind? I would presume it is a man with an assertive attitude, high self-esteem and confidence, and who might occasionally talk aggressively. However, recently more and more women are participating in politics. What if I were to ask you to imagine a female politician? I bet the characteristics associated with this image of a female politician will be similar to the first image of the male politician.
2014 年 3 月 18 日夜晚，一群台灣青年衝入立法院議場，佔領議會超過 20 天，抗議立委貿然和中國簽署《服務貿易協定》。這波被稱為「太陽花運動」的抗議，不僅衝破了台灣民主的黑幕，更使得許多原本對政治冷漠的台灣人，開始正視台灣的民主危機，連帶地掀起後續大規模的公民參與浪潮。同時，太陽花運動也揭示了台灣政治、經濟和社會各層面，長期以來潛藏的問題。
Radical 在台灣常常會翻譯成「激進」，但我認為應該翻成「基進」會更為恰當。根據 Merriam-Webster Online 關於 radical 的條目， radical 是「與根（root）相關的」，衍生為基礎、起源與重要之意。所以 radical 的『ㄐㄧ』應該翻譯為「基」礎的基而非「激」烈的激。為什麼我要從 radical 開始談呢？因為無政府主義（Anarchism）常常被認為是最 radical 的政治思想體系（ political ideology ），然而在沒有弄清 radical 真正的意思之前，我們常常在一開始就搞錯整個無政府主義的方向，把無政府主義連接到混亂、失序、毫無規則等等…。但其實無政府主義者的重點是思考最「基本」的問題，挑戰問題的「根基」，而非採取「激烈」的手段。
What the Sunflower Movement unveiled for Taiwan
ON THE NIGHT OF March 18th 2014, a number of Taiwanese young people rushed into the Legislative Yuan, and began an occupation of the legislative chamber that lasted over 20 days in protest of the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services (CSSTA) which had been passed by legislators without detailed examination.