9/24/2006

Taiwan Tang-wai is Back






The photographer partially covered up by a cardboard box in this work of graffiti (outside the Chungshiao/Fuhsing MRT Station) is a police officer. He's taking pics of demonstrators. I guess the work is to remind us of the 1970s-80s, when the KMT (國民黨) was cracking down on the Tang-wai Party's (黨外) pro-democracy movement. After murder, torture, wrongful imprisonment and harassment, photography was the favored method of intimidation.

The suggestion here is that Chen's government forces are at it now, bullying Shih Ming-teh "Depose" faithful with cameras. I pass by the protests on a daily basis and from what I've been able to make out, the graffiti though evocative is misleading. Plenty of photographers are on-hand. But their purpose is to feed Taiwan's various media outlets as they serve up frenzied pro-KMT propaganda rather than to work for the cops. On this point I am quite certain because every night I am treated to an endless stream of cranky geezers and whacked out grandmas as I eat dinner in front of the TV evening news with my wife's in-laws. The protestors are easily recognizable. They're the ones wearing red t-shirts and red baseball caps. They are the ones giving the "thumbs down" sign every five seconds. We can even comprehend their rants: the reason they are pissed off is after 50 years of intimidation and indoctrination, there are still people in Taiwan who see themselves as Taiwanese. We are not amused either. We can't find any news programs outside of CNN (which nobody in the house understands anyway) willing to report anything else.

3 comments:

Edward said...

If they are rants, how are you able to comprehend them at all?

Patrick Cowsill said...

I've been here too long. I can understand their illogic.

Kris said...

you can't understand CNN? That's because you've been in Taiwan too long. it's time to go somewhere new.