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週二, 15 一月 2013 14:55

Nicky Lee and the rise of "girly" manga

Nicky Lee discusses the appeal of manga made for girls, explains how a youthful crush on Jon Bon Jovi served as inspiration for her earlier works, and how the emphasis should always be on the characters.

週二, 15 一月 2013 14:45

Chang Sheng and the science of creating sci-fi

 

Chang Sheng talks to us about his first-love relationship with Japanese sci-fi manga, the age of his audience, and exactly what goes into the creation of good sci-fi.

週一, 14 一月 2013 13:59

Chiyou and eco-manga

 

Chiyou talks about his inspiration behind drawing, what manga means to him, and why other artists or the public don't always share his opinion on what constitutes "interesting" manga.

週一, 14 一月 2013 13:57

Ah Tui and the need for originality

 

Ah Tui compares the different approach towards manga of Asian and European manga artists in addition to exposing what he believes to be a big problem with Taiwanese artists: their lack of individual style.

週五, 11 一月 2013 15:30

Min-Xuan Lin and manga as relaxation

Min-Xuan Lin discusses what constitutes her ideal kind of manga. She talks about the need for making manga as a light form of entertainment for stressed people who need to unwind.

週五, 11 一月 2013 15:29

M2 and the manga-anime link

 

M2 tells us of her role models and the artists that inspired her to star drawing manga. She also goes on to discuss a particular way of storyboarding a manga which is similar to that of movies.

週六, 29 十二月 2012 23:29

Taiwan Aboriginal Peoples in Global Perspective: An Interview with Monanung

Observing indigenous peoples in Japan and Taiwan, Taiwanese Indigenous Poet Monanung talks about the common plight of indigenous peoples around the world and gives a pessimistic prediction of the future of Taiwanese aboriginal culture...

週四, 29 十二月 2011 15:26

我的第一張選票─首投族國政觀察團看2012大選

在這次總統大選中,「首投族」被視為影響選戰結果的關鍵,因此成為候選人急欲拉攏的對象,一時之間,青年相關政見滿天飛舞。但首投族自己是如何看待這場選舉?他們又是根據哪些指標來投下第一張選票?

週四, 21 四月 2011 02:00

Taipei Organic Acupuncture

Marco Casagrande is now principle at the Ruin Academy at the JUT Foundation's Urban Core Arts Block as well as professor at the Department of Architecture at Danjiang University, Taipei. After his group was given a studio on the block, his group built the Ruin Academy, and even produced a whole magazine on the groups theory, practice and projects - Anarchist Gardener - the rest of which can be viewed here. Their conception of space are wildly beyond the current mainstream practice bent on urban development, beautification and modernization at all costs. Here, Marco lays out some of his main ideas in Taipei.

Acupuncture is the procedure of inserting and manipulating needles into various points on the body to relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes.

Urban planning integrates land use planning and transportation planning to improve the built, economic and social environments of communities.

Urban design concerns the arrangement, appearance and functionality of towns and cities, and in particular the shaping and uses of urban public space.

Environmental art is art dealing with ecological issues and possibly in political, historical or social context.

Sociology is a science of human social activity.

Anarchy is acting without waiting for instructions or official permission. The root of anarchism is the single impulse to do it yourself: everything else follows from this.

The community gardens and urban farms of Taipei are astonishing. They pop up like mushrooms on the degenerated, neglected or sleeping areas of the city, which could be referred to as urban composts.

These areas are operating outside the official urban control or the economic standard mechanisms. They are voids in the urban structure that suck in ad-hoc community actions and present a platform for anarchy through gardening.

For the vitality of Taipei, the networks of the anarchist gardens seem to provide a positive social disorder; positive terrorism. They are tuning the industrial city towards the organic, towards accident and in this sense they are ruining the modern urbanism. They are punctual organic revolutions and the seeds of the Third Generation City, the organic ruin of the industrial city.

Corners are windy

Claude Lévi-Strauss believes in the beauty of the human nature as part of nature. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno lost all the hope for the industrial development and said it has failed the promise of the Enlightment - it had corrupted humanity. Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalke (Mosfilm, 1979) is taking sophisticated people into the Zone, where their deepest wishes may come true. The Zone which is the organic ruin mirroring the surrounding mechanical reality. For the Strugatsky brothers (Arkady & Boris) the Zone was a Roadside Picnic (1972, Moscow).

casagrande_02

Missis Lee in the Gongguan community garden, an illegal garden farmed by National Taiwan University professors and staff.

The community gardens of Taipei are Roadside Picnic. Grandmothers can take us there, like Stalker. The honorable Lévi-Strauss could be happy to start new ethnographical research between the parallel realities of the cultures of the urban compost gardens and the surrounding city – the reversed modernization and focusing in Local Knowledge. Horkheimer’s & Adorno’s graves should be moved in one of these urban acupuncture spots of Taipei. Here even they would find hope, surrounded by the valueless modernity and hard industrialism. Prof. Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila has said: “The valueless void of the society of today will be filled with ethics: the corners are windy.” With the recognition of the urban farms and community gardens Taipei has found its corners.

What is the ethics then pushing through these corners into the city? It could be called Local Knowledge, site-specific reactions building a bridge between the modern man and nature. The gardens of Taipei, these acupuncture points, are penetrating through the industrial surface of the city and reaching the original ground. The self organized community gardens are the urban acupuncture needles of Taipei. Local Knowledge is in connection with the first generation city, when the built human environment was dependent on nature and regulated by nature. Now the anarchist gardeners are regulating the industrial city.

Dominate the no-man’s land

The community gardens are taking over abandoned construction sites and ruined housing areas, empty city-blocks waiting for development, flood banks of the rivers and even grave-yards out of fashion. In many cases the gardens are flourishing on spots of land where the land-owner issues are unsettle or complicated. Sometimes the garden will stay in the spot for only a couple of years, as in the cases of soon to be developed areas and sometimes the urban farming has decades long traditions as with the river flood plains or on the island in-between Zhongxiao and Zhongshing bridges. The smaller urban farms are flexible and eager to overtake the empty spots of the city, eager to dominate the no-man’s land.

Treasure-Hill_Organic-Layer_Marco-Casagrande

Treasure Hill in 2003 (Photo: Stephen Wilde)

One of the more famous urban farming communities of Taipei was the Treasure Hill settlement, originally an illegal community of KMT veterans. During its legitimating process Treasure Hill became so famous that eventually the original community was kicked away by the city government and the houses were taken over by artists and art related organizations. All the farms were destroyed on the process. Sounds like urban warfare against urban acupuncture. Treasure Hill was powerful and self-sustained when it was illegal. The community built its own houses and its own farms and it made its own rules. The official city wanted to eliminate this unofficial organic rival. NGOs found the issue sexy and stepped in to protect and legitimize the settlement. In the end the NGOs and artists took over the now-famous community and hooked up with the city government. The original urban farmers didn’t fit the picture anymore and had to leave. Now you can listen gansta-rap in a yellow plastic tent where the gardens used to be. Local knowledge died.

But Treasure Hill is not alone. Urban farming happens through different social classes and through out the city. The socially disordered citizens are ready to occupy land and start the community farms over and over again. Some acupuncture spots get hot and benefit the surrounding urban tissue while others fade away. The industrial surface of the city keeps constantly being broken up and herbs and vegetables are planted into the cracks. People are ruining the industrial city. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature.

Urban Editors

Compared to Western cities Taipei plays in quite different rules. The aesthetics of the city is dominated by the functionality of a big collective machine and the urban mechanism is constantly being edited and rendered as with changing the micro-chips or other parts of a super-computer into more powerful ones. The urban data is people and this is what the machine needs to process. Mostly it goes smoothly, but also people get viruses – they get together to spontaneous demonstrations, they do tai-chi in improvised city-corners, they launch ad-hoc night markets or under-bridge sales on temporarily occupied streets or city corners. And they do farms – they are squeezing organic material into the machine like a creeper crawling into an air-conditioning box. Why they do this? Why does the nature want to break the machine?

Developers are the true urban editors. They are linked with the city authorities and necessary political powers and they make the urban editing. Architects are in a secondary role – something like the hyenas after the lions have made the kill. Money is a good consultant and the generating force of the developer run urban editing process. This is not urban acupuncture though; it is more like a western style medical practice – operations on the body removing, changing or maintaining parts – or even plastic surgery. (Oh, Shanghai has bigger tits than Taipei.) The body is not necessarily seen as one big organism.

In this rough editing process the anarchist gardeners seem to act as micro-editors, parasites benefiting of the slow circles of the big-scale development. They occupy the not so sexy areas of the city and they jump in the more sleepy parts of the development cycle. For example – the developer buys a whole city block with originally many land-owners. The process is slow because he has to negotiate with all of them. While the process is dragging behind the urban farmers step in and start farming the area. The developer doesn’t want to cause any more fuss and let it happen. It takes 3-5 years before the developer has got all the area to his possession and those same years the site acts as the community garden. When the actual construction starts the gardeners have already occupied a next vacant spot in the city.

Third Generation City

First generation city was the human settlement in straight connection with nature and dependent on nature. The fertile and rich Taipei basing provided a fruitful environment for such a settlement. The rivers were full of fish and good for transportation and the mountains protected the farmed plains from the straightest hits of the frequent typhoons.

The second generation city is the industrial city. Industrialism claimed the citizen’s independence from nature – a mechanical environment could provide human everything needed. Nature was seen as something un-necessary or as something hostile – it was walled away from the mechanical reality.

Third Generation City is the organic ruin of the industrial city. The community gardens of Taipei are fragments of the third generation urbanism when they exist together with the industrial surroundings. Local Knowledge is present in the city and this is where Ruin Academy focuses its research. Among the urban gardeners are the local knowledge professors of Taipei. Third Generation City is true when the city recognizes its local knowledge and allows itself to be part of nature.

101-Garden_Isis

The 101 Community Garden besides the Taipei Word Trade Center. Photo: Isis Kang.

Photos courtesy of M. Casagrande


For more information on the Ruin Academy and their projects in Taiwan, you can read the full content of the magazine Anarchist Gardener here

 

週二, 22 十一月 2011 17:08

關懷都會原住民 ─ 維多利亞原住民友誼中心

 

 

第六站 - 溫哥華島 - 維多利亞市 - 維多利亞原住民友誼中心 (Victoria Aboriginal Friendship Centre, VAFC)

維多利亞原住民友誼中心是一座特別為了遠離家鄉來到都市生活的原住民所設立的慈善機構,目標是全面性的關懷,包括文化傳承和社會服務,也提供健康、教育、休閒,以及家庭的照顧。由於台灣的都市裡也有為數不少的原住民人口,我們參訪團隊的學生們也能藉此看到第一民族如何在都市環境中維持保存原鄉的認同。他們是否在都會裡做到傳承甚至復興了傳統文化呢?都市裡的原住民所受到的關懷和台灣相比又是如何呢?

「維多利亞原住民友誼中心是一個類似社工服務的單位,此中心有針對不同階段之第一民族常碰到的問題加以輔導協助。例如:婦女嬰孩輔導課程,教導新手媽媽如何教養孩子,避免其被政府認定沒有教養能力,導致孩子被強制帶離由政府教養;青少年之家,也就是小時候被強制帶離父母身邊,成年後回歸社會的第一民族青年,此友誼中心即提供他們一個彼此鼓勵成長的家;另外還有對長者的陪伴與照顧工作。此中心十分重視第一民族成員對自身的認同及彼此間的連結,不讓任何一人有自暴自棄的機會,令人感動。同時,政府也提供很好的管道,讓此中心可以申請需要的補助;而中心負責人也提到,其經費來源大多來自社會大眾捐贈,可見加拿大人對於第一民族的友善。這是台灣原住民族、社會大眾及政府應當學習的地方。」

── 邱婕 Ibu Isliduan - 國立東華大學民族語言與傳播學系四年級 - 布農族

 

「在維多利亞原住民友誼中心接待我們的Mr. Bruce Parisian,便提到保留地原住民從部落到城市工作的艱辛歷程,這何嘗不是台灣都會原住民遇到的問題?我們的政府因都市更新將城市內的部落強制拆除,對此我們要如何因應?此中心是由不到十位的都會原住民創立,他們在一間不到十坪的辦公室,自發性地寫企畫、向民間團體與政府單位申請經費,在一番努力之下,政府與民間團體紛紛願意投資合作,我覺得這樣的耕耘相當值得借鏡。」

── 陳平 Rimuy Watan - 陽明大學臨床暨社區組碩士班二年級 - 泰雅族

 

「當位置來到維多利亞的原住民友誼中心,對方非常友善迎接我們。先是介紹門口的圖騰,再以座談會的方式使我們瞭解他們為了什麼事情努力。聽到加拿大有兩百多個一樣的地方,不禁想到台灣有沒有這樣的可能?我認為我們自身應該主動去關心原住民相關議題,從加國回來發現當地的第一民族與台灣的原住民族比起來,他們存在感多得多。然而,台灣的原住民族在台灣也有一定的存在感,只是每個人認知不一樣。或許我們被某些人小小的忽視,但不代表沒有人關心過我們。撇開存在感不談,就一個城市的空間來說,有多少東西會象徵出它是有原住民存在的地方?台灣有,只是相較於鄧肯市,便顯得相當薄弱。我們應否去省思這樣的問題,台灣的原住民到底有沒有被尊重?而不是在提到自身的時候,就像提到外國人一樣,不清楚也不明瞭。」

── 林哲玄 Utun Titi - 國立東華大學民族語言與傳播學系四年級 - 太魯閣族

 

Filmed and edited by C. Phiv, subtitled by Vica Zhuhan

Photos: Top: Richard Chen Down: Shu-ching Hsueh

週二, 22 十一月 2011 17:03

原住民醫療的全球視野 ─ 維多利亞大學原住民衛生研究中心

第五站 - 溫哥華島 - 維多利亞大學 原住民衛生研究中心 (Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, CAHR)

維多利亞大學是一所研究型大學,被公認為原住民研究的標竿,和原住民部落與不同領域的相關學者都保持著密切良好的關係。原住民衛生研究中心建立於2008年,致力於原民衛生研究的進行與推展,與當地和全球的原住民人士共同合作以改善他們的健康問題。目前為全球原住民衛生研究的首要機構之一,定期舉辦國際專題討論和研討會

此次訪問給了我們絕佳的機會去了解加拿大的原住民健康問題,藉由參考他們當地的問題、研究,和解決辦法,與台灣和全球相較,我們更能深入探討全球原住民共通關連的議題,以及需要什麼政策來對抗難題。

當我們抵達研究中心的時候,迎接我們的是幾位學者和博士生。研究中心的負責人首先向我們介紹了中心的總體任務,接著由各位學者一一說明他們正在進行的研究以及在各個地區的發現:像是不同部落間自殺率的差異、嘗試將傳統治療與西方醫學系統結合,和文化傳承與原住民身心健康的關連性等。

中國讀者請點以下連結:

「加拿大為了原住民健康問題設置了中央級的研究院,台灣的中研院卻沒有這樣的安排,我覺得相當可惜。目前的研究似乎缺乏較大型、完整的計畫,對於改善台灣原住民的健康問題也無太大的幫助。當我看到這種不足,同時也看到了未來可以付出和努力的方向。」

── 陳平 Rimuy Watan - 陽明大學臨床暨社區護理研究所碩士班二年級 - 泰雅族

「在維多利亞大學的公共衛生研究中心,我向其中一名與會教授問及,加拿大原住民自殺比例是否高過非原住民?他的答案是肯定的。他認為造成這個現象的原因,絕大部分是出自加拿大原住民在都市謀生需面臨極大壓力;他也說在他輔導過的個案中,對自我族群認同越高者,通常較不會有輕生念頭。我也相信『認同是可以改變的』這一句話。」

── 陳至宏 Gyusi Meihua - 國立東華大學民族語言與傳播學系三年級 - 泰雅族

 

 

「我發現台灣和加拿大在公共衛生方面所面臨的問題非常的類似,處理的方法卻不一樣。例如:加拿大的部落也正面臨著醫師資源的缺乏,一開始他們也採用類似『醫事人員養成計畫』的政策,但因為發現成效不佳,實際上最後回到部落服務的醫事人員並沒有增加,因此放棄此計畫。我們熱烈討論了其中的原因。另外,也談到健保制度。加拿大也採用全民健保,雖然每個人繳的健保費差不多,但是都市與部落所享用到的醫療資源有著極大的差距,這衍生出公平問題。兩國似乎都還沒有能夠成功解決此問題的方式。如何公平的讓每個人都能得到合理公平待遇的醫療照護,也還是個待解決的問題。」

── 李慕凡Wilang Watah - 陽明大學醫學系四年級 - 泰雅族

「在維多利亞大學公共衛生研究中心裡,我們討論有關原住民就業、教育等議題。當他們談論到『應該要教育非第一民族族群,學會如何用第一民族的角度及思維來尊重或是幫助他們』,這是很值得學習之處。」
── 邵慧君 Gagai - 國立東華大學民族語言與傳播學系四年級 - 排灣族
「來到維多利亞大學公共衛生研究中心,印象深刻的是,有一個研究生論文題目是關於部落傳統醫療和現代醫術之平衡。原住民早期部落就有傳統醫療管理人民的身心健康,巫師、祭師扮演很重要的角色,他們是人民的醫師、諮商師,藉由傳統規範去運作,加上一些科學無法解釋的醫療現象,無形中鞏固了整個部落的運作。直到殖民者到來,介入部落原有的醫療體系,並以歐洲主流觀點去看待、干涉,傳統醫療的瓦解帶來部落間的規範失衡,更使許多人開始質疑自己的文化的價值。」
── 溫彧青 Labi - 國立東華大學族群關係與文化學系四年級 - 阿美族

「由於我的專業領域是護理,起先在整理加拿大有關『傳統醫療與現代醫療結合』的相關議題,發現他們為了尊重原住民文化中的傳統醫療,在進行現代醫療時仍會進行儀式。在這裡看見的不只是對文化的尊重,而是能藉由傳統儀式來安撫該個案的情緒及增加他的歸屬感。
以前在老家時,常常看見一位很少清醒的老先生,他每天幾乎都是早上清醒工作、晚上醉醺醺。我問過他為什麼那麼常喝酒,他回說:『以前不知道怎麼教小孩,導致現在小孩都不乖,有罪惡感。』連身為原住民的我,都會有這種類推性的主觀想法,更何況是非原住民族群的人。我們應該從事件中找出問題核心去深入瞭解,才可能撇清某行為中的意義,而非一昧的為某族群套上污名。我認為,惟有先對原住民文化有基本概念,次者瞭解環境與原住民認知的相互關係,才可以真正了解原住民的需求給予適當資源。」
── 羅秀英 Yubax Hayung - 台北護理健康大學護理系二年級 - 泰雅族



Filmed by Cerise Phiv, edited by Nick Coulson, subtitled by Yenching Chu

Photo by C. Phiv

週二, 22 十一月 2011 16:58

站在文化巨人的肩上 ─ 英屬哥倫比亞大學第一民族學習中心

 

 

 

第四站 - 溫哥華 - 英屬哥倫比亞大學 第一民族學習中心

教育問題是目前全世界原住民運動的核心。除了介紹第一民族中心在促進原住民教育方面的角色,Rick Ouellet 和 Debra Martel也告訴我們,加拿大教育體制如何因應原住民的文化處境來運作,又有哪些政策、計畫成功地被執行。譬如英屬哥倫比亞省開創先例的政策─所有該省的教師都必須修習原住民研究課程。第一民族中心也正在一些原住民區域推展一項工作,讓想要獲得學位的人,能在他們畢業 後能夠回到他們的社區,且仍有足夠的就業機會。

中國讀者請點以下連結:

「在UBC裡的第一民族學習中心裡,擺設與建築物外觀均夾帶著第一民族的濃厚味道,但對我們來說那正是最真實、活用的教科書。教授說,畢業的 學生一定要有一個畢業成品,因為走出這個學習第一民族文化的地方,代表你學習到了自己的文化,那樣的意義多麼深重啊!... 再者,因我讀的學校是有著台灣第一所原住民族學院的大學,可是就跟上面的問題一樣,其實是相當薄弱的,只有一個院碑就象徵了民族學院似乎不夠。我們是不是 可以思考有甚麼更好的想法去裝置這樣一個學院,讓人家更看得到我們呢?」

── 林哲玄 Utun Titi - 國立東華大學民族語言與傳播學系四年級 - 太魯閣族

在民族學習中心的訪談對話中,我了解到第一民族的教育體制及福利制度,迥異於台灣將民族教育及一般教育分開執行,政府根據學 校或地方提出申請欲實施的民族教育,撥預算幫助實施。 整個行程裡,從自治、公衛、教育、文化產業行銷四個大方向,瞭解及探討加拿大第一民族。從中,我反思到台灣是個多元族群的社會,雖早已倡導尊重多元文化, 政府在制度上也給予原住民許多福利及補助,像是加分機制、推展鄉土文化教育、補助金等等,然而根據文獻資料顯示,仍未見良好績效。或許是因為政府用的是主 流文化思維在幫助原住民族群,卻很少以原住民族的文化思維、生活習性等立場去看待問題。例如中小學的教材裡,未曾出現任何原住民族相關知識,使得原住民孩 童在學習上因文化差異,顯得較主流族群孩童處於弱勢。在維多利亞大學公共衛生研究中心時,他們說:『現在你們年輕人就是一群很強大的力量。』這句話提醒 我,應該多重視原住民族的教育問題,特別是文化教育,這關係到一族群的消逝危機。

── 邵慧君 Gagai - 國立東華大學民族語言與傳播學系四年級 - 排灣族

這次參訪過程,不管是政府機構或民間組織,對方介紹的一開始一定是告知我們,現在所屬的土地是哪個部落及族群,這是很令 人感動的。加拿大稱原住民族為「First Nation (第一民族)」;台灣稱為原住民族(Indigenous),二者有異曲同工之妙。兩國都確認原住民族是該國原本抑或第一居住在此的民族,但在台灣我們何 時會談起土地的故事以及以前居住在此的民族?加拿大處處感受得到當地族人及友人對於土地的認同以及認識,令人動容。
── 陳睿哲 Yahu Kunaw - 國立東華大學民族語言與傳播學系三年級 - 泰雅族

ubc_house_learning

 

Video filmed by C. Phiv and D. Chen, edited by N. Coulson, subtitled by Yenching Chu

Photos by C. Phiv

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