西班牙街頭藝術家波隆多(Gonzalo Borondo)，2014年在巴黎街頭創作一幅名為〈三代〉(Les Trois Ages)的巨型壁畫，描繪當上一代遮住這一代的嘴，這一代則會矇住下一代的眼，讓孫子看不到未來，祖父的面貌也將模糊不清。米蘭昆德拉曾說，權力的最終鬥爭，是決定什麼該被記得又什麼應被遺忘。「白色恐怖」一詞曾是時代的禁忌，受難的不只是所謂本省人，也包括外省人與原住民族；半個多世紀後的轉型正義，試圖運用各種方式，為當年的政治受難者及其家屬回復名譽。
國家人權博物館曾委託導演Liglav A-wu(利格拉樂．阿𡠄)，拍攝16支原住民政治受難者紀錄片，經過與A-wu導演討論以及部落訪談，促轉會重建社會信任組進行了「maine’e回家－政治受難紀錄片部落巡迴放映」活動。負責的行政助理Mo’o Yaisikana(石貿奇)提到，maine’e是鄒族語，意為回家；這個回家有著多重含意，將紀錄片帶回故事發生地的部落放映，讓過去被誤會或污名化的受害家庭，抬頭挺胸回到部落，也讓那段過去無法被討論的歷史故事成為族群的集體記憶。
#"The Power of Dialogue -Conversation with Masters " -Rhonda Sparks-Tranks “Intentional Questioning for Deep Dialogue“"
活動時間：2023-06-03(六) 09:30 ~ 11:30(台灣時間)
RACING WITH THE TIME — THE JOURNEY OF RECOVERING FROM TRAUMA FOR THE INDIGENOUS POLITICAL VICTIMS IN TAIWAN
“Les Trois Ages (Three generations),” a giant mural in the streets of Paris, was created by Gonzalo Borondo in 2014. The portrait of grandfather, son and grandson, visualizes the vicious circle how trauma passed on from generation to generation. The first generation forbid the second generation not to talk about it by covering the son’s mouth, while the son blinded the grandson’s not even to see the facts within the family and thus the faces of grandfather faded away from the memories. The forgotten story traumatized each generation and prevented them from recovery as the story could not be told and the grieving process could not begin. This portrait of three generations captures the essence of trauma caused by political violence because the stories of these victims are systematically erased. As the Czech writer Milan Kundera said “The ultimate struggle of human beings against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” in his book ‘The Book of Laughter and Forgetting’, “White Terror” was such a taboo for political victims in the period of martial law from 1949-1987 in Taiwan that their voices are rarely heard by the public. In contrast to the common misunderstanding that victims of White Terror are mainly Taiwanese, ethnic background of these victims actually covered all four major ethnic groups in Taiwan, including Hoklo Taiwanese, Hakka Taiwanese, mainland Chinese immigrants, and indigenous peoples. In order to alter the vicious circle of erasing memories of political violence, Taiwanese government has passed the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice in 2017 to rehabilitate and compensate these victims and their families after half a century.
The dedicated government department of the transitional justice processes, the Transitional Justice Commission (TJC), was established in 2018. One of its mission is to develop a social program to provide care and healing for victims of political violence, including indigenous victims. The project that we are presenting today is part of the healing program for indigenous victims with a focus on reconciliating and recovering the ruptured relationships between indigenous victims, their families, communities and their ancestors. The measure we adopted is to display documentary films of indigenous victims in their communities and create a safe space for dialogues among different stakeholders. After careful assessment, three communities were chosen, including Dongpu of Bunon Nation, Daai of Saisiyat, and Dongli of Siraya Nation. This documentary project initiated in-depth dialogues among victims’ families, local tribal communities, and governmental representatives and won the 2022 Dialogue Impact Award – Golden Award.
“MAINE’E“ REHABILITATING THE TRIBAL SOLIDARITY MEMORIES FOR VICTIMS AND FAMILIES
Dr. Frank Wang, professor and director of the Graduate Institute of Social Work in NCCU and former commissioner of TJC, mentioned that although indigenous people are only 2.5% proportion in Taiwan’s population, indigenous peoples also fell victims of political violence during the martial law period. As their living area covers mainly in the mountains, which is approximately 2/3 of the whole island, the Nationalist government was very cautious to ensure military control over the mountains area in order to prevent penetration of communists. However, indigenous leaders were expecting the Nationalist government to empower indigenous people the right to self-governance and self-determination. Their attempt for autonomy was interpreted as a threat to national security. As a result, six indigenous political elites were executed by the KMT government, including Uongu’e Yata’uyungana(高一生), Yapasuyongʉ’e Yulunana(湯守仁), Mo’e Peongsi(汪清山), and Yi Chung Fang(方義仲) from the Cou and Losin Watan(林瑞昌) and Zhe Chiao Kao(高澤照) from the Atayal. According to families’ interviews, no one dared to cry out when their bodies came back to the village because people were afraid of being recognized as their alliances by the KMT. Silence on voicing their grief, prevented those who lost their loved one from the journey of mourning, the trauma of the communities were frozen with those untold stories.
Wang described transitional justice as a soul-transforming project for Taiwan society moving towards democracy. It requires everyone to engage in the dialogues of revisiting our understanding of the past to build common foundation for the future. This is going to be a delicated and complicated process. To seek consensus among heterogeneous interpretations and allegations, the first step is to learn to listen and that will be the biggest challenge. As the leading figure of transitional justice in South Africa, Bishop Desmond Tutu mentioned, the past will not go away if we just ignore it. To the opposite, if we don’t confront the history, the history will always haunt us eventually. So, are we ready to listen to the untold stories from the past and live with them for a better future?
The documentary project starts with the story of Hsiung Tong Huang(黃勳東), a member of Amis Nation in the Kaadaadaan Tribe(電光部落) of Taitung, the first high school-educated person in the village. He was the pride of his family but was alleged with ‘propaganda for communism’ when he was working in Kaohsiung, which traumatized his parents severely. After he was released from prison, he was forced to leave his community and emigrated around the island as a construction worker to avoid the surveillance of the police. He would move to a new place every three months. It was already very late in his life that the TJC sanctioned him decriminalized, and his offspring realized the trauma that burdened him for his whole life. Although he has been decriminalized, misunderstandings and prejudges between him and his tribal communities still exist due to a lack of clarification. Those hatred and regret haven’t gone with the end of his life. “The tribe is home to indigenous people. To reconnect victims and their families with the tribe, we must bring their stories back to the community”, said Wang.
The “Maine’e – Political Victim Documentaries Screening and Sharing in Tribes” program was initiated by TJC under this vision. The program was supported and consulted with Liglav A-wu, the director and producer of indigenous political victims’ documentaries. “Maine’e” means “coming home” in Cou’s dialogue, “There are multiple meanings of coming home in this project, including bring the stories back, reconnect these exiled families with tribes, and remembering the lost stories as collective memory for indigenous people,” said Mo’e Yaisikana, member of Cou and executive worker of the program.
TO FORGIVE, BUT NOT TO FORGET
Challenges were expected in this program, including the political tension in tribes toward transitional justice policy, uncertainties about the attitudes of victim’s family towards the government, and the potential response from the community due to misunderstanding and the stigma of criminalization from the past. To overcome these obstacles, TJC’s team put effort into explaining details and goals to the family and communities. Caution was made to ensure the event is for the community, without any political attempts. After the documentary, the commissioner, Dr. Wang, was present to represent the state to apologize to the victim, the family and the community in public. Dr. Wang also present the official proof of sanction decriminalization in front of congregations to clear the victim’s name. The dialogue occurred after the documentary. The victim’s family members, community leaders such as chief and pastor, and indigenous scholars were invited to share their views in the dialogues. These arranges are trying to build a friendly and safe space for communication.
TJC’s team conducted their field study according to three elements of dialogue — equal waiting, empathetic listening, and assumptions. Eventually, they planned and executed three screening and sharing events in three different tribes, and the result was beyond expected. Yaisikana shared the experience of playing a documentary of Wen Chun Chiao(趙文從) in Daai. Chiao, a member of the Saysiyat, was a successful logging businessman in the 1950s. He was involved in his cousin’s propaganda for indigenous independence and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. After release, like many political prisoners, he was forced to leave his tribe with his family. His son, Chun Hsiung Chiao(趙俊雄), grew up outside the tribe has wanted to join the ritual ceremony of SaySiyat but is afraid of negative opinions toward him because of his father. His father’s innocence has been witnessed. Through the playing of the documentary of his father and the apology from the government conveyed by the TJC commissioner, the chief and other members of the tribe invite him to come home and join tribal affairs without any hesitation or worries. Chiao said at the end of the event,” Thank you all for being here. I believe that my father have come home tonight.”
External benefits emerged after the events. Participants started to discuss other untold incidents during White Terror, seeking a tribal internal interpretation of that missing history. Yaisikana believed that collective discussion and recovery are crucial to rehabilitate the community’s relationship damaged by the government. “We have to forgive but not forget. Instead, we remember so we are united again.”
There is a saying about death that people die twice. The first time is the admonishing of flesh and bone, and the second time is when the living forgets them. TJC’s team executed three screening and sharing events, but Liglav A-wu produced 16 documentaries, and many more indigenous political victims and families are facing misunderstandings and conflicts. There is still a long way to go in the transitional justice process in Taiwan. Although TJC was dissolved in 2022, Wang, Yaisikana, and the team are still dedicated to improving indigenous human rights through different dialogue opportunities and trying to recover those tabooed stories with warmth.