Toward a Society of Equality and Coexistence in the Inter-Asian Context: Civic Participation, Legal Reform, Social and Artistic Intervention, Trans-local Free Association
Convener：Joyce C.H. Liu
In response to the main them of the joint project, "Conflict, Justice, and Decolonization," the goal of Subproject V is to foster a Society of Equality and Coexistence in the Inter-Asian Context and, through different dimensions, to facilitate the social practice of Civic Participation, Legal Reform, Social and Artistic Intervention, and Trans-local Free Association.
Following the site of social conflicts, intervening in its on-going and urgent issues with multiform practices, and genuinely recognizing the complex kernel of the problematic appearance, Subproject V cooperates with the NGO practitioners and the artistic activists to bring about different forms of knowledge production and intellectual decolonization.
This sub-project has three main focuses:
(1) To investigate the questions of unequal citizens, particularly the social inequality of the marginalized people, such as migrant workers, refugees, stateless people, and other forms of part-of-no-part;
(2) To confront social conflicts and ideological boundaries through artistic intervention and multi-forms of knowledge production;
(3) To facilitate trans-local connections, civic participation, and community regeneration, particularly to encourage graduate students to join the research team and organize various forms of social practices and knowledge production to investigate different social conflicts.
|I. To investigate the questions of unequal citizens, particularly the social inequality of the marginalized people, such as migrant workers, refugees, stateless people, and other forms of part-of-no-part|
|According to the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the estimate of the total number of international migrants had amounted to 272 million in 2019, up from 173 million in 2000. Compared to 70 million international migrants in 1960, the figure has increased by 200 million. The rapid increase of global migrant populations is partly caused by refugees who fled their homeland because of wars and partly by transnational migrant workers due to international capital flow.
Among the total number of transnational migrants, 83 million migrants are living in Asia. These transnational migrant population has fundamentally changed the societies over the world in the 21st century. These migrants leave their homes to live and work in a different country, not have citizenship, and suffer from all kinds of exploitation, discrimination, violence, and even unable to have fundamental human rights, which also impact local societies. As societies worldwide are not yet ready to respond to these global social changes, civil politics has relatively made the situation of internal colonization more and more serious.
Due to the labor force's demand, Taiwan has introduced a large number of foreign workers in the past 30 years, mainly from Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. However, these documented or undocumented foreign workers are not fully protected by the Labor Standards Law. They have often been abused and cannot fight for the recognition and equal rights in the society where they co-existed, which even become a legalized modern slavery system. These invisible communities who live here but are not seen and cannot participate in the society on an equal basis, have formed the bottom class of the internal colonial system, and challenge community citizenship.
The above-delineated phenomenon reflects the exclusive politics of citizenship that exist in the 21st century. This sub-project investigates the questions of unequal citizens exposed by the transnational migrant population in the Inter-Asia society. It examines the reformation of law, explores the redefinition of citizenship, and the human rights and social rights of migrants and refugees, equal pay for equal work, undocumented migrant workers' right to work, and labor protection of domestic migrant workers. This sub-project plans to establish a network of transnational cooperation and cross-regional connections in migrant workers, refugees, and stateless people. Through the Global Humanities Institute organization, we invite scholars and young students worldwide to explore the issues of social rights of migrant workers and refugees and unequal citizenship. Furthermore, considering other prominent cases of minority groups and part-of-no-part, this sub-project also investigates the non-democratic nature of the politics of citizenship and encourages re-constructing in an emancipatory way the concept of citizenship.
The Predicament of Community and Unequal Citizenship
|II. To confront social conflicts and ideological boundaries through artistic intervention and multi-forms of knowledge production|
|Our researchers in this sub-project interrogate the social conflicts and issues of inequality from the age of the Cold War to the contemporary era through art forms, including visual art, installation art, documentaries, films, digital media, or theater. These diverse forms of art are essential mediation for us to think about society and history. We focus on historically and geopolitically connected regions such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, through the axes of conflict, justice, and decolonization to conduct our analysis. We explore colonization, cold war, globalization, geopolitical economy, migrant workers, refugees, marginalized people, and local resistance from different perspectives such as arts intervention by interrogative design, sensory ethnography, sensory logistics, image otherness, image time, and theater knowledge. We aim to establish a cross-regional critical comparison of Inter-Asia society to transcend a single country and develop a broader understanding of geopolitical history.||
Interrogative Design as Art Intervention in Society
|III. To facilitate trans-local connections, civic participation, and community regeneration, particularly to encourage graduate students to join the research team and organize various forms of social practices and knowledge production to investigate different social conflicts|
|The third part of this sub-project is to facilitate trans-local connections, civic participation, and community regeneration, particularly to encourage graduate students to join the center’s research project. Students can organize different forms of social practice and knowledge production, experiment with various civic participation forms, people’s actions, and other possible community reformation ways. Over the years, our students have organized the “Stranger Cooperation” in the Dongmen Market of Hsinchu City, “Where the People Are: Workshop on People’s Theatre in Inter-Asian Society,” “Muslim Film Festival Workshop,” “Migrant Workers Film Festival,” etc. We have also published Zines through electronic forms. We will also promote curation and documentary production on various issues, and to create a knowledge medium that is more accessible to the public.||
Stranger Cinema (2018-)
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