springtime

wow. so it’s the end of another academic year (almost)

as the academic year ends, i’m trying to keep up with all of the end of term work but also think about the coming summer. this year, something on the horizon is an upcoming residence at the cepo art center in fongbin township. it’s an art center in an old police station just above gangkou village beside the siugulan river. during the summer, i will be at cepo and sometimes in ‘atolan writing but also engaged in a large-scale soundscape documentation project, in which i will document soundscapes of the siugulan river, a work that i consider research on “mediating spaces”–spaces that come to mediate relationships among groups but also through their role as conduits also mediate history. it will be an addition to my ongoing work on the ethics of locality, but the first time i will be trying something quite so large and systematic in sound. so it’s a cool step

of course, it might require me to develop yet another domain name and website. well, maybe not–it could be a subheading of taiwan soundscapes or live here, i suppose

this past semester, i’ve also been further pulled into a kind of ironic experience around teaching. trying not to blame my students, i really wonder: what is the role of a teacher if students no longer read and if they are constantly distracted? on the one hand, i’m too committed to academic life to leave the university. and yet, i’m not sure that anything i know of how to teach or what it means to teach still applies. ok, maybe i am blaming my students–or at least the surrounding culture and probably their intellectually lazy parents and high school teachers. the entire society, really. how are we to intervene, if we still think that the life of the mind is valuable?

perhaps it’s best to set these questions aside to move forward as i think of the summer

tempus fugit

over break, i visited virginia for the first time since my parents moved to the west coast

renting a car, i drove from dulles to richmond, to williamsburg, to charlottesville, to lexington, to boyce, then back to dulles. virginia is much larger than you think it is when you see it on a map, and moving from tidewater back to the shenandoah valley, i was struck by the different ecologies as i moved upland along the james river, then over afton to charlottesville

it had been a long time since i had been in lexington, where i first studied mandarin Continue reading

village industries? 部落產業和多元文化的誤認

因為這個月是豐年祭的季節,所以聽到縣長鄉長村長代表大人的致詞是難免的
我暫時不要責怪他們殖民主義狀態,卻要對台灣政教兩界的言論包含一種好奇心
一種疑問一種納悶
覺得納悶是說,有原住民身分和非原住民身分的官
還有很多原住民菁英,如大學教授
都在說,部落要有所謂部落產業才有經濟基礎
有經濟基礎年輕人才回部落
部落才有未來,原住民自治才能進行
我有時疑問,這樣不是顛倒本末嗎?
不是因為原住民沒有主權(包括土地權,文化權,等),所以部落從自給自足導入經濟依賴?
不是因為土地拿走差不多,才無法維持生活?
這些疑問先放在一邊,我們沒有辦法改變歷史,但是我們應該對所謂部落產業的定義表示疑問

一般來講,官方提出部落產業,其實是觀光業的一種
無論在’atolan或者在cawi’
立委,縣長,鄉長,代表致詞都大力推薦開發觀光
觀光客來的多,年輕人就會回部落,他們這樣說
同時,很多原住民菁英,一邊反對大型觀光開發案一邊提倡部落產業
他們好像在說,部落缺乏產業,所以自治無法執行

但是,如果我們待部落一兩天,我們會發現,其實部落產業已經很多也
有ina開的早餐店,fayi的卡拉OK,有vuvu的檳榔攤,mamu的柑仔店,大姐的理髮廳
弟弟的咖啡屋,年輕人開的瓦斯店,哥哥的鐵皮工程,還有很多哥哥和大叔在賣他們家裡吃不完的漁獲

這些,不是部落產業嗎?

好像不是。那些職業原住民給部落產業的定義,是將部落傳統文化加值,
他們所謂部落產業不是建立在部落為了部落人提供服務的產業
是部落文化加以商品化,然後賣給白浪的對外推銷商業行為

一些方面,我不能完全否認他們所提倡的部落產業
的確,有一些傑出的年輕人在用部落視覺文化做出T Shirt,背包,等產品
也有kakawasan的草帽,等的例子
但是,部落產業,難道只是這一些?為何它的定義,是給非原住民來消化原住民文化的觀光行為?

另一方面,有人說部落產業是自治的基礎
我真的很好奇,人家要的是東管處,林務局,土地銀行,退輔會,等,還部落的土地
人家要的是學校尊敬部落文化並教部落歷史
人家要的是主權
但是,部落產業言論卻要給部落是以文化產品參與多元文化的公共文化
這樣不是一種誤認嗎?

busy busy busy

i’ve been a bit busy with a number of speaking and performance commitments recently, including the AAS in Asia meetings in Kyoto, a conference on the “labor of animation” at Academia Sinica, and a theater workshop in Laeno, an ‘Amis / Pangcah community near Makota’ay

At some point, i would like to post a sound diary of my trip through the thousand tori at Funishi Inari Taisha–it’s not a Taiwan piece but the sounds of the walk up the mountain appealed to me a great deal; and i ended up recording more than an hour of material. overall, the amazing quality of the walk was the marked contrast between the bustle of crowds close to the main shrine and the quiet as one moved further up the mountain, the sounds of labored breathing as people climbed the stairways up the hill toward the shrines highest up, sounds of water flowing through the mountain landscape, and the sounds of worship. the space was also a remarkably multilingual space, which makes sense considering that this is the most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto (and likely throughout Japan)

The theater workshop was interesting, and is still happening–i have to head back up to Makota’ay sometime tonight or tomorrow; however, it felt a bit distant from the work that I need to do here in ‘Atolan. This summer, filled with many different engagements, has been too busy to get much fieldwork done. Still, writing two papers and making a soundpiece for an exhibition is not bad for a couple months work!

Keep posted for more thoughts on the theater workshop and the sound diary of Inari Taisha

DJH

life in text and stereo sound