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Trans-local Network, Civic Participation, and Re-construction of Community

Trans-local Network, Civic Participation, and Re-construction of Community
—Joyce C.H. Liu, Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University


The objective of this research is to combine the different issues in the fifth subproject and to find different ways of civic participation, mass activism, and restructuring the community. These ways include to form an alliance between academic institutes and civic organizations to increase civic participation, facilitate mass activism, and confront social inequality. In so doing, it may accelerate the revision of policy and law making and change the mentality of the people. In collaboration with the master’s and doctoral programs at the Institute of Social Research and Culture Studies and the International Institute for Cultural Studies, this research will hold a series of film screenings and symposia at the Stranger Cooperation at the Dongmen Market, the historical site of the Sixth Navy Fuel Plant, and other public spaces in Hsinchu (such as Jiangshan yi gai suo). These activities focus on the questions that urgently need to be addressed, promote a larger scale of discussion and civil participation, and hold workshops (e.g. on the people’s theater) across different places to share experiences. In so doing, these activities facilitate reflection and discussion on the issues in question by combining different forms of knowledge production, e.g. holding joint film festivals and creating digital zines that is to be electronically distributed. Besides initiating discussion, another effect of the joint film festival is to demonstrate and share the resources from local studios to different regions that provide people from different locales with access to the activities and information of another region more easily, and thus reinforce the exchange of the network. Through trans-local network, scholars, activists, policymakers and executives from northern, central and southern Taiwan, Southeast Asia, or even around the globe can be connected and have a diverse conversation in regards to the same pivotal issue through conferences, forums, and lectures. These discussions help the Taiwanese society confront these problems directly and conceive a possible way out in spite of current limitation. This research plan also encourages curating and documentary filmmaking as a more neutral but touching way that allows the masses to feel and think about these issues.