Programme per 2018-10-24

Wednesday, 24. October 2018

Time Item
10.00 Visit of Taiwan guests to the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies. Pick-up at lobby, Hotel Pension Excellence
  Short footwalk to institute
10.30 Welcome by Department of East Asian Studies / Sinology
Information on the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies
13.00 Lunch at Küche 18 (home-made Chinese noodles)
18.30 SIN1

Ann Heylen: Opening of the Conference 

Hong-Chi SHIAU, Shih-Hsin University, Keynote lecture

The Sensational, the Everyday-life and the Spectacular – Witnessing the Intersection of Documentary Filmmaking and Civic Movement in Taiwan

In 2013 Taiwan witnesses unprecedented documentary box-office receipts, thanks to Beyond Beauty Taiwan from Above, my speech attempts to first voice the skepticism regarding whether this type of box-office success can bring about sustainable societal changes. With the emergence of new technologies – particularly the popular uses of drone, smartphone gadgets and social media, critical voices have been aggregated. However, another concern shared by critics associates the new school of documentary filmmaking with sensational reality shows, having become increasingly sentimental. My speech will illustrate the technological and socio-political trajectory on how some documentary films in Taiwan likely offer their viewers a haven for individual heroism, reinforcing Taiwanese society’s incessant inward-looking tendencies, self-pity, and self-contentment.

Moderation of the discussion: Ann Heylen

20.00 Agape – informal gathering of conference participants and audience with Austrian snacks and wine


Thursday, 25. October 2018

Time Item
10.00 Meeting at door 2.3 of Department of East Asian Studies / Sinology.
Short footwalk with Sight-seeing (Narrenturm) to C3 Library.
Guided tour through C3 library
  Tram travel
12.00 Lunch with Neubau District delegates, sponsored by Taipei Office Austria
Restaurant Corner 101Josefstädter Str. 101, 1080 Vienna, Austria
14.00 – 15.00

Introduction of Neubau District

Environmental Politics in Neubau District


Admiral Cinema, Burggasse 119, 1070 Wien

Taiwan Environmental Documentary
public screening and discussion

Welcome remarks: Ann Heylen

15.10 – 16.50

Beyond Beauty. Taiwan From Above,  看見臺灣 2013
Director: CHI Po-Lin (齊柏林) †2017

17.00 – 18.50

Let it be 無米樂 Taiwanese Bô-bí-lo̍k (literally 'happiness without rice' in Taiwanese) 2004,
Directors: YEN Lan-Chuan (顏蘭權) & JUANG Yi-Tseng (莊益增)

18.50 – 20.30 Buffet Snacks and informal discussion with directors


Friday, 26. October 2018

Time Item
09.00 – 10.00 Registration
10.00 – 10.50 Tai-Li Hu - Film screening of "Returning Souls"
10.50 – 11.00 Break
11.00 – 12.30

Tai-Li Hu - Presentation and discussion:
Ethnographic Film - Returning Souls, Synopsis

In the historically most famous ancestral house of the matrilineal Amis tribe in Taiwan, the carved pillars tell legends, such as the great flood, the glowing girl, the descending shaman sent by the Mother Sun, and the father-killing headhunting event. After a strong typhoon toppled the house in  1958, the pillars were moved to the Institute of Ethnology Museum.  Since 2003, young villagers, with assistance from female shamans, had pushed the descendants and village representatives to communicate with ancestors in the pillars. They eventually brought the ancestral souls(rather than the pillars)back and began reconstructing the house. In an environment highly influenced by the colonial ideology, western religions, national land policy, and local politics, the dream of the young people for cultural revitalization and to bring back not only the ancestral souls but also the soul of the village encountered many frustrations. This documentary interweaves reality and legends as well as the seen and the unseen as it records the unique case of repatriation.

Discussants: Adina Zemanek, Judith Schöne

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch Break
14.00 – 15.00 Taili Hu - Dialogue with discussants Adina Zemanek and Judith Schöne
15.00 – 16.00

Futuru Tsai - Presentation and discussion

Dancing with Ocean: Making a Sensory Ethnographic on Freediving Spearfishing with The ‘Amis of Taiwan

Since it was introduced during the Japanese colonial period, freediving spearfishing has become an integral part of indigenous life among the indigenous ‘Amis people of Taiwan. This paper reflects upon the representation of these embodied practices through sensory ethnographic filmmaking. Freediving spearfishing is both an example of the resilience of traditional knowledwge as well as the adaptation of this knowledge to changes in material culture.  As an ethnographic filmmaker, I reflect upon the strategies used in my own representation of the “techniques of the body” (Mauss 1973) deployed in this cultural practice. In particular, I ask what kind of Bakhtinian chronotopes (1981) are evoked by framing ‘Amis identity as inextricably linked to the ocean? How does the extensive use of underwater video uniquely index indigenous bodies? And how does sensory ethnography represent the fieldwork encounter? This project is part of a long-term ethnographic project on ‘Amis spearfishing and I also reflect on my own bodily and sensory experiences as a non-indigenous Taiwanese ethnographer. Finally, I compare and contrast the choices I have made in my own work with other visual representations of indigenous fishing cultures as well as Leviathan (2012), a classic work of sensory ethnography that depicts the very different chronotope evoked by live onboard a modern industrial fishing vessel.

Moderation: Gwennael Gaffric

16.00 – 16.15 Coffee Break
16.15 – 17.00 Film screening Futuru Tsai: Between Breathing (tentative)
17.00 – 18.00 Futuru Tsai - Dialogue with discussants: Gwennael Gaffric, Stefano Centini


Saturday, 27. October 2018

Time Item
10.00 – 10.50

Chris Berry Presentation

Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples and Feature Film Cinema:
From Colonial Mascot to Eco-Citizen

This presentation approaches that relationship between Taiwan’s indigenous peoples and dramatic feature films and in two ways. First, it examines the representation of the indigenous peoples in feature films, and it finds that their depiction has nearly always been connected to Taiwanese identity and Taiwan’s ecology. In the Japanese colonial period, the indigenous people were frequently deployed to symbolize the supposedly savage frontier identity of the island and its promise for colonial taming of nature from the Japanese perspective. This continued in the Martial Law era (1947-1987), but civilizing the indigenous peoples now also required assimilation in the form of sinicization. Since the end of Martial Law, a new pattern has gradually emerged, where the indigenous people symbolize both the new, multi-cultural, democratic and eco-conscious Taiwanese identity and its difference from Han-centric, undemocratic, and polluted China. Second, who is representing indigenous peoples in cinema and for whom? Therefore, the final section of the presentation examines the role of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples in the production and reception of films about them. Is what Barry Barclay has famously called “Fourth Cinema” emerging in Taiwan: cinema about, by and for indigenous peoples?

Moderation: Gwennael Gaffric

10.50 – 11.00 Coffee Break
11.00 – 11.30 Chris Berry - Dialogue with discussants: Stefano Centini, Adina Zemanek
11.30 – 12.20

Chun-Yen Wang - Why I chose the Chung Chiao film

Film Screening
Chung Chiao Return to Hometown: A Story of Taixi Village (返鄉的進擊──台西村的故事)

12.30 – 14.30 Lunch Break
14.30 – 15.30

WANG Chun-yen Presentation

Can the Village Speak? Documentary Theatre in Taiwan

This paper looks into the so-called Documentary theatre with a particular focus on those with environment issues in Assignment Theatre (chaishi juchang). Chung Chiao, the founding leader of the Assignment Theatre, was inspired by a Taiwanese leftist writer Chen Ying-zhen and began his collaboration with People’s theatre groups in many Asian countries since the 1990s, a post-Cold war period. Chung investigates histories, social issues and current circumstances by testimonial performance and documentary drama, aiming to develop the aesthetic and critical reflections on the social and cultural issues. 

In 2016, Chung directed and produced a work of Documentary theatre entitled “Return to Hometown: A Story of Taixi Village” (返鄉的進擊──台西村的故事) by focusing on village people suffering severe air pollution, marginalization, and the complexity of experience since 1998 when the Formosa Plastics Corp's (FPC) sixth naphtha cracker complex was launched. The paper starts with a critical question raised by Spivak “Can the Subaltern Speak” in hoping to re-locating the question in Return to Hometown. It continues to work on how Assignment theatre positions itself in the historical context of the leftist in the post-war Taiwan by paying attentions to the people. With a re-examination of the above, the paper discusses the way in which environmental discourses, the village people, documentary theatre, and the national Taiwan subject, etc. are interweaved.

Moderation: Hongchi Shiau

15.30 – 16.00 Chun-Yen Wang - Dialogue with discussants: Chris Berry, Stefano Centini
16.00 – 16.15 Coffee Break

16.15 – 17:45

Round Table with speakers and discussation
Moderation: Hong-Chi Shiau

Beyond CHI Po-lin – Environmental Movement and Documentary
Filmmaking in Taiwan since the Dawn of 21st Century

In addition to Beyond Beauty – Taiwan from Above, conservationist advocacy has grown since the dawn of new millennium, even if it activists still blame the government rather than the corporate investors. In 2011 pro-dolphin, anti-pollution advocates prompted President Ma Ying-jeou personally to condemn plans for a $30 billion offshore petrochemical refinery proposed by state-run CPC Corp. Taiwan, the project’s major investor. Activists, along with environmental documentary filmmaker fought against some corporate/investors (e.g. Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE); Kou-Kuang gasoline refinery distill factory). These documentaries have investigated the leaky cocktail of chemicals, which was rare ten or twenty years ago when Taiwan has not reached the point of modernization timeline where the island consciously wants quality of life instead of the industrial sprawl and overdevelopment.

17.45 – 18.00 Astrid Lipinsky - Concluding Remarks
18.00 Dinner for invited guests 


Sunday, 28. October 2018

Time Item
9.30 Meeting point 9.30 in front of hotel Pension Excellence, Alser Str. 10
10.00 Field trip to Lobau - Vienna's Jungle
guided tour and with discussion