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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
With new capital flows and shifts in a global market, masses of migrant workers become displaced through legal agencies and illegal trafficking which have given rise to mobile populations that disrupt the balance of citizens to non-citizens. To meet the demand for labor force, Taiwan has in the last thirty years imported a large number of migrant labor, mostly from Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. However, such documented or undocumented labor, often abused, cannot be adequately protected by the Labor Standards Act. Unable to fight for their rights of recognition and equality that the host society is supposed to embrace, they fall victim to legally institutionalized modern slavery. These invisible communities, living here while remaining unseen and unable to participate in society on an equal footing, constitute the bottom of the internal colonial system, and pose challenges to problems of community citizenship. In light of the above dilemma, this project addresses unequal citizenship issues that have been revealed by migrant workers and undocumented agricultural laborers, analyzes various alternative solutions for social and artistic intervention, creates trans-local associations of NGOs and artistic groups, proposes diverse agenda of legal reforms, while exploring possible conceptions for future society.
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 conflicting site of society closely, intervening in its on-going and urgent issues with multiform practices and genuinely recognising the complex kernel of the problematic appearance, Subproject V cooperates with the NGO practitioners as well as the artistic activists in order to bring about different forms of knowledge production and intellectual decolonisation. Along with ICCS's joint project, the task of Subproject V is also to probe into the particular yet problematic issues within the local Taiwanese society and try to contribute intellectually yet practically.
In the first two years, Subproject V has four significant deliverables:
（1）To establish Trans-national cooperation and Trans-local Network: Along with Subproject III and Subproject IV, the research team was awarded by the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) and A.W. Mellon Foundation to host the Global Humanities Institute (GHI) 2019-2020. Entitled with "Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Global Context, " This GHI will take place from 1st to 10th June 2020 at ICCS, NCTU, in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The institute invites applications from early career researchers and advanced graduate students from interdisciplinary humanities and social science studies. It will serve as a platform and laboratory of collaboration for all participants to explore and to share perspectives, approaches, and practices on the questions related to migration, logistics, and unequal citizens.
（2）To facilitate Trans-local and Trans-disciplinary Network: The subproject researchers held the forum, film screening and seminar concerning migrant worker's human right and labour right, such as " A Dialogue between Law and Society: On Migrant Worker's Labour Right and Employment Policies." Several research papers, fieldwork reports and the working notes had been presented and discussed in these events.
（3）To integrate research and teaching: Subproject V encouraged graduate students to join ICCS's research team and to organise multiform ways of social practices and knowledge production, such as "Stranger Cooperation" and CJD online publication.
（4）To encourage alternative forms of publication and production: Subproject V supported different kinds of artistic and intellectual intervention, including zine publications, the documentary production and the curation. " The Sixth Fuel Factory Documenta" had been held in 2019. "Stranger Cooperation" has published several issues of zines. The multi-media publication of "Where the People Are: Workshop on People's Theatre in Inter-Asian Society" is under post-production.
Within the coming years, Subproject V will continue developing the above-stated deliverables and further realising the Trans-national and Trans-local research platform. The presentations and discussions of the coming conference, workshop and summer institute will also become the intellectual recourses of the Trans-national publication project. Additionally, taking ARI as a reference, Subproject V will encourage graduate students to organise the research team and cooperate with students from different countries to hold a Trans-national workshop.
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