There aren’t many sunflower fields in Taiwan, but the flower is now an integral part of the country’s history. Already two years now… how refreshing it was to witness this younger Taiwanese generation standing up for the future of their country.
An older friend, maybe jaded by years of KMT governance (or lack thereof, as he would say 😜), or still scarred from a childhood where he had to write one too many「反攻大陸，解救大陸同胞」(literally: reclaim the mainland, rescue our comrades) at the end of his essays to get a passing grade, is convinced that sooner or later Taiwan will fold under the 老大, the big brother. As much as he dearly loves his native land, he’s resigned at this inevitable conclusion of his. I always listen with a smirk, and silently hope that the future will unfold otherwise.
Searching in the archives of this blog, it appears that I never dedicated a post to the Sunflower Movement, so let’s fix that, and go for a walk down memory lane, back in March and April of 2014.
Not everyone could afford going to Taipei, and partake in the protest, so here and there, meetups were organized for people to voice their mind. In Kaohsiung, Central Park provided an ideal agora, where younger and older generations convened in the evenings. A guest speaker would get the crowd warmed up, and then, the microphone was open to the audience.
Mindful that some participants were coming right after work or school, the organizers even made sure to distribute some free food to the hungrier ones in the crowd.
People showed support in whichever way they could.
To reflect further on the history of social movements in Taiwan, earlier this year, in February, the month of 228, the Kaohsiung Film Archive featured a few related documentaries as part of their free monthly screening series:
- 末代叛亂犯 The Last Insurrection (trailer, fb)
- 太陽不遠 Sunflower Occupation (available on YouTube, fb)
- the movie is being screened at the Taipei Film Festival on July 10th, with the filmmaker in attendance, a good one to check out!
- 廣場 The Right Thing (trailer, fb)
- 公民不服從 Civil Disobedience (available on YouTube)
The films did not have a whole lot of contextual narrative to them, and were more of a testimonial from activists who participated in these events, so a lot of references flew right past my head.
Anyway, this ends the walk down memory lane, but let’s go back to Chaishan 柴山 in a future post. 😉