Featured Stories

From Wild Lilies to Sunflowers: Discovering Taiwan’s Democracy

From fist fights in the parliament to protests that seem to rotate through Taipei every few months, Taiwan's democracy is oftentimes placed under intense scrutiny. “Look at how messed up Taiwan’s government is,” I’d hear often. But critics often forget this obvious precursor to democratic maturity: age. Taiwan is known as the beacon of democracy in Asia, as the only Han society to know freedom today. However, people also forget how young this fragile democracy is, or how recent…

Hello from Taiwan: Q&A with Filmmaker Tiffany Frances

We typically share the contributor bios at the end, but Tiffany Frances has such a dazzling background, we thought we'd open this Q&A with a little bit about her. Tiffany Frances is a Taiwanese American director and writer working in music videos, branded content and narrative film. She was selected for SHOOT Magazine's 2018 New Directors Showcase, where a trailer of her short film, WHAT I WISH YOU SAID, screened at the Directors Guild Theater in New York. Her short film MOVEMENT for…

Addressing Anti-Blackness Within the Taiwanese American Community

By Tiffany Diane Tso, edited by Leona Chen | original photography by Micheile Henderson Editor’s Note: I’ve been thinking a lot about (valid) accusations that Asian Americans, frankly, suck at standing up for others. And though there is no singular Taiwanese American immigration narrative, many families in our community arrived by way of H-1B visas, prestigious education, and the logical conclusion that obedience produces success. Diasporic Taiwanese of my parents’ and grandparents’…

The 228 Inheritance: Taiwan’s Revolution Is Here

Seventy-two years after Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s forces massacred more than twenty thousand Taiwanese in ‘the February 28th Incident’, Taiwan is in the midst of an unacknowledged revolution. You will not find the Taiwanese Revolution named in history books or identified in newspapers. Indeed, it is assumed that this revolution has yet to occur – or rather that it never will. Yet to occur, because there is no internationally-accepted Taiwanese Republic and never to occur,…

Call for Submissions: Chrysanthemum – Volume II

  In 2016, we started with the seed of an idea: an anthology of Taiwanese diasporic artists and writers speaking our truth in turbulent times. We had hopes of opening eyes and hearts with bright, young voices that cut deep and sharp. We hungered to honor our heritage while forging bravely forward with new art and literature. And you came with us. Chrysanthemum: Voices of the Taiwanese Diaspora was a collection of over 20 artists and writers of the Taiwanese heritage speaking to their liminality,…

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 impulse…

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…

Chris Pang: Upcoming Crazy Rich Asian and Certified Haiku Hottie

When actor Chris Pang was a kid growing up in Melbourne, Australia, he remembers he and his mother would act out wuxia stories in their backyard. His mom would be the Grandmaster, and he would be her student, but inevitably then the bad guys would poison the Grandmaster, and he'd have to fight to avenge her. "I loved that," he says. "That's probably how I learned how to tell stories, not just on the page but through action and role-play." Pang, who will soon be seen in the highly-anticipated…

For the (Re)Cord: An Interview with Leona Chen

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1050"] Book of Cord coverage in World Journal, article by Emily Lin, book photography by Tinfish Press, family portrait by Andy Kuno[/caption] Leona Chen is the author of Book of Cord, her debut poetry collection from Tinfish Press. The poems tackle family, culture, language, migration and history in a non-prescriptive way, relying instead on emotions embedded in precise, culturally coded details--quotidian (but not ordinary) objects such as tiger balm,…