SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Activism, Protest and Social Criticism in Contemporary Taiwan Cinema

Lin Ting-ying 13FEB19 240 186 56
Speaker: Dr Lin Ting-ying

Date: 13 February 2019Time: 11:00 AM

Finishes: 13 February 2019Time: 12:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Talk


Taiwan can be characterised by its becoming a mature civil society with the rise of social movements in the wake of the democratisation process since the late 1980s. The flourishing production of documentaries in twenty-first century Taiwan can be also viewed as a polyphonic site that corresponds to the development of civil society and provides multiple voices from various activists’ groups including the ethnic minorities, feminists and LGBTQ groups as well as eco-documentaries and historical-political issues. Apart from the proliferation of documentary productions in Taiwan, in this talk, using several feature films as case studies, I aim to examine how Taiwanese filmmakers address activism, protest and social criticism in contemporary Taiwan cinema over the past decade. I will firstly explore the dissent and critique of socio-economic inequality and global capitalism with the case of Leon Dai’s No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti (Buneng meiyou ni) (2009). Secondly, I will center on the resistance against developmentalism and institutionalised power in contemporary Taiwan in Cho Li’s The Rice Bomber (Baimi zhadanke) (2014). Furthermore, I will focus on the activism and protest of the indigenous minorities in Cheng Yu-chieh and Lekal Sumi Cilangasan’s Wawa No Cidal (Taiyang de Haizi) (2015). Finally, I will argue that contemporary Taiwan cinema over the past decade can be seen as the filmmakers’ response to the increasingly mature development of Taiwan’s civil society, whilst becoming a self-reflexive cultural space where the activism and social criticism that has taken place in recent Taiwanese society is reflected, manifested and negotiated from heterogeneous perspectives.

Speaker’s Bio

Lin Ting-ying received her PhD from the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London, where she worked as an Associate Lecturer in the World Cinema course. Her research interests focus on contemporary Taiwan and Hong Kong cinemas as well as East Asian cinema and popular culture. Her book chapter “Charting the Transnational within the National: The Case of Contemporary Taiwan Popular Cinema” included in Chang Bi-yu and Lin Pei-yin (eds), Positioning Taiwan in a Global Context: Being and Becoming, is published by Routledge in 2019.



Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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