What Taiwanese Americans Can Learn From Taiwanese Politics

PHOTO CREDIT: MAX OH One of the opportunities of sitting at the masthead of TaiwaneseAmerican.org is continually engaging with the borders and expectations of this community. What does it mean to be Taiwanese, American, and Taiwanese American? What is our role as citizens of the diaspora? And, heavily on my mind in the aftermath of the November 24th election: Do we need an acute awareness of — or even interest in — Taiwanese politics to identify as Taiwanese American? My…

All Quiet: An American in Taiwan’s Perspective on 228

By Joyce Chen, edited by Leona Chen Editor’s Note: American-born Taiwanese Joyce Chen is a first-year international student at National Taiwan University. On the 71st anniversary of 228, Taiwan is, she observes, harboring a strange ambivalence. This is not to ignore the indigenous protests for transitional justice or the demonstrations that did occur this year. In Taoyuan, a group of young pro-independence activists covered the tomb of Chiang Kai-Shek in red paint to symbolize the estimated…

Green Island Secrets

Journalism & Scholarship Force Us to Bear Witness to Taiwan's Darkest Era By Dr. Chung-Chih Li, edited by Leona Chen Editor’s Note: In 1981, Professor Chen Wen-Cheng (陳文成), assistant professor of mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University, was taken for interrogation by Taiwan’s secret police under allegations of sedition. Despite official reports of a friendly and cordial interview, he was found dead the next day at National Taiwan University.  Thirteen broken ribs. Three fractured…

A Canon of Our Own: Q&A with Michelle Kuo, Author of Reading with Patrick

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1050"] Author Michelle Kuo with her parents[/caption] I profess that I have been a bit of a book snob lately. I am reading 50 books in my 10 weeks of summer; 20 of which should have a focus on social justice, and 15 of which should be by or about Asian Americans. The more these categories overlap, the greedier I become. I have been desperately craving something for me, something that helps me navigate everything this world has become with the body I have.…

Taiwanese Music and the World: Interview with FireEX

By Darice Dan Chang Reprinted by permission of author and Ketagalan Media One of the challenges of writing about musicians from another country is that you have to feel each other out a little, figure out how much you know, or don’t know, about each other. For example, they don’t understand that you haven’t experienced them, that you can’t just Google.tw their names and have lived every nook and cranny their 10+ year career through the power of the internet. They don’t know that…

Representation in the Asian American Community: A Roundtable Discussion

There are some pretty cool and accomplished individuals in our Taiwanese American network. During our recent interview with the first Asian American Miss Louisiana, Justine Ker, TaiwaneseAmerican.org's Ho Chie Tsai posed a question to the friends gathered: "In the work you do or the role you hold, what does REPRESENTATION in the ASIAN AMERICAN community mean to you?" In this informal and completely impromptu discussion, Justine Ker (Miss Louisiana 2016 and medical student), Crystal Lee (Miss…

Taiwan Float in NY Pride Parade Celebrates LGBTQ Movement in Taiwan

The New York Taiwanese Community Crowdfunds to Celebrate the Recent Ruling on Same-sex Marriage by Taiwan’s Constitutional Court To celebrate this historic ruling, Mr. Chi Chia-Wei, the gay activist who filed the lawsuit that Taiwan’s Constitutional Court recently ruled on, has been invited to New York to participate in this year’s Gay Pride Parade, which will take place on June 25th. A crowdfunding campaign is now underway to raise funds to cover all fees and expenses for 1) Mr. Chi’s…

Blacklist: A Film by Christina Hu

Starting in the early 1970s, thousands of Taiwanese immigrants came to the United States each year, in pursuit of higher education and better lives for their families. Yet, mostly untold, is the story of how hundreds of these Taiwanese in America were put on a blacklist by the government in Taiwan, for speaking out for democracy and human rights in Taiwan while they were in the United States. Once outside of Taiwan, that generation of Taiwanese graduate students were exposed to the values of freedom…

End of an Era: Farewell to the Formosa Foundation

As observers and partners of the many active organizations in support of Taiwan and the Taiwanese American community, the staff of TaiwaneseAmerican.org has had the privilege of working with leaders, organizers, and activists throughout our extensive network. One of those esteemed organizations is the Formosa Foundation, based in Los Angeles. Their mission, like many other "1st generation" organizations, has been a noble one--promoting and supporting the Taiwanese people's right to self-determination…

Summer in Taiwan and #blacklivesmatter

The police officer suspected of murdering Philando Castile looks like he could be my father, my uncle, my brother. Asians and Asian Americans do not deserve to be silent. I’m spending the summer in Taiwan, learning and unlearning what it means to occupy a Taiwanese body in an American space; an American body in a Taiwanese space. My thirteen-year-old cousin asks me about my two best friends in college. They are handsome, black, and male. A computer programmer and a gifted medical student. She…