Written by Sam Robbins. Taiwanese politics has been digital as long as it has been democratic. Taiwan’s first direct presidential election in 1996 was hotly debated on popular BBS systems of the time. More recent elections have been fought on blogs, PTT, facebook and elsewhere. Taiwanese politicians have always been looking for new methods to connect with voters and make themselves visible in an ever-changing digital landscape.
Written by Theodore Taptiklis. Taiwan and New Zealand share common themes around democratic participation and economic development based on distinctive comparative advantage. We are also connected via our indigenous peoples, the Taiwanese of whom may have formed part of the great chain of Pacific migrants that led to New Zealand’s pre-colonial settlement. And now, Taiwan’s ‘southbound’ outlook and its emphasis on youth development may connect us even further.
Written by Hegerová Terézia. Fire EX. started their career in 2000 as an indie punk rock band from Kaohsiung. The four members are singer Sam, bassist Pipi, drummer Wu Ti and guitarist Oreo. The group at first performed only covers, but later started to produce their own songs. They say that their style was influenced by many other singers and bands, especially those from the US like Blink 182 and Green Day.
Written by Yao-hung Huang. The Taiwanese director Wei De-Sheng burst onto the international scene over a decade ago with his critically acclaimed musical drama Cape No. 7. The movie was an unexpected box office success, and saw Wei held up as a beacon of hope for Taiwan’s beleaguered film industry. Nonetheless, Cape 7 came under fire in some quarters for painting the legacy of Japanese colonial rule in a positive light.
Written by Po-hsi Chen. Guo’s concern resembled the philosophical rendition of the post-war Czechoslovakian ‘socialism with a human face’, which emphasised individual freedom and personal choice under the Soviet regime. Indeed, Guo passingly referred to ‘Second World’ Eastern European communist theorists’ re-reading of Sartre in the post-Stalin context.
Written by Tim Shao-Hung Teng. In 2015 Taiwanese filmmaker Huang Ya-li (黃亞歷) released his documentary Le Moulin (Riyaori shi sanbuzhe/ 日曜式散步者) to critical acclaim. The film recounts the major life events of four core members of Taiwan’s prewar surrealist poetry society, Le Moulin (fengche shishe/風車詩社). Known for its experimental style that does away with interviews and voice-over narrations, the nearly-three-hour film cites, extracts, pastes, and freely associates materials such as literature, paintings, photography, sounds, film footage, diary entries, and newspaper clippings. These sources are not always readily recognisable and nor are they all directly related to the poets’ works.
Written by Chee-Hann Wu. Homecoming 微塵望鄉 is a 2017 production by Puppet & Its Double Theater 無獨有偶工作室劇團 featuring Lily 馬莉莉, daughter of veteran father and immigrant mother, and Paochi (寶枝), Vietnamese caregiver who takes care of Lily’s dementia inflicted farther.
Written by Grace Cheng-Ying Lin. In Taiwan, abortion rituals (嬰靈超渡, 嬰靈供養) have been gaining popularity since the 1980s. The ritual attempts to appease or rescue Yingling (fetus spirits嬰靈), the spirits of fetuses that have died from abortions or miscarriages. Within most contemporary religious discourse, abortion is seen as an inappropriate means of ending a life.
Written by Perl Li. In light of the recent pressure China is exerting on Taiwan through tourism, I hope the Tourism Bureau will properly utilise its resources to improve its campaigns both to support the tourism economy as well as Taiwan’s international reputation.
Writen by Giulia Mengato. My research on Indigenous communities in Taiwan shows that the needs and wishes of Indigenous peoples are still considered secondary to those of government. I argue for a more nuanced approach wherein public institutions work alongside local people. Government restrictions should not suffocate community will and should not limit the agency of local people.
Written by Brian Hoie. Although the majority of media attention yesterday focused on demonstrations by over one thousand marriage equality advocates outside the Legislative Yuan, another demonstration involving over one thousand took place outside the Executive Yuan at the same time. This demonstration involved over one thousand members of the Taiwan Association for the Rights of Non-Aboriginal Residents in Mountain Indigenous Townshipsprotesting against the Council of Indigenous Peoples’ efforts to protect indigenous traditional territories.
Written by Maja Korbecka. There are yet more talented Southeast Asian Chinese diaspora filmmakers working in contemporary Taiwan cinema and bringing forth their own complex heritage, stories and new ideas to work with film art. They represent hope for revival and new directions in Taiwan cinema. Through their work they contribute to projecting the image of Taiwan as a multiethnic and multicultural state, the full potential of which is yet to be discovered.