Contemporary Interpretation In our inc re a singl y ato mise d a nd a li e nate d capitalist society, I believe lo-deh sao still has the power to inspire. In addition to being farmers, those performers took on the different identities of my thical figures or other characters they portrayed. Not only were farmers creating art during these performances, but more importantly, they were afforded an opportunity to transcend their identities; or it could be said that the multiple identities of farmer, performer (artist) and mythical figure converged in one individual. Furthermore, the performance spot became a mobile site of intersecting times and places. In China's history of peasant uprisings, these performances were often used to rally the masses for revolution.
Bitai Thoan Yaoyan Films and
Strategies for Anti-Imperialist and AntiColonial Cultural Activism Historical Background During Taiwan's Japanese colonial period (18951945), Chiang Wei-shui established the Taiwanese Cultural Association, which operated from 1921 to 1927. The association formed a traveling team of projectionists and silent film narrators known as Bitai Thoan in 1926. At the time it was common for Japanese police officers or firefighters to be seated in the last row of theaters run by local Taiwanese. Their purpose was to monitor film narrators and prevent them from advancing anti-colonial sentiment. These same narrators, however, would use Taiwanese dialect, slang or sayings that only the local audience understood to deliberately create anti-colonial meaning in films where it never existed before. The audience would laugh, applaud, cheer and gesture when they heard these deliberately twisted interpretations. Even though Bitai Thoan only existed for two years, they were able to develop an effective, art-based protest strategy as early as 1926.
Contemporary Interpretation The interaction between Bitai Thoan silent film narrators and their audience was a dialogic performance that both relied on images and went beyond images. This was especially so when the Japanese monitors left their high perch at the rear
of the theater and stepped between the narrators and the audience to halt the interaction. At that point, the colonizers not only became visible to, and were encircled by, the audience, but also suddenly became the monitored under the gaze of the local people. Whether the Japanese police and firefighters successfully thwarted interaction is less important than the fact that each was forced into a dual role of colonial oppressor and the subject of scrutiny. The theater space intended for presenting films became the site of a role exchange between the monitor and the monitored, as well as a site where sound, image, dialog, theater and cultural action came together to create a complex dialogical art context. Following these connections, we might imagine that those audience members charged with subjective agency would re-translate, re-imagine and re-narrate based on their own interpretations of a film originally intended as colonial propaganda. Through this process of continuous retelling, it would be possible to produce countless anticolonial, yaoyan films. Note: The Chinese term yaoyan ( čŹ č¨€ ) originally referred to sayings or rhymes circulating in society that were critical of the government. Yaoyan was a strategy relying on poetic language, songs and fabricated narratives to disrupt authorial mechanisms and comment on social issues. As a result, it produced historical points of view and social imaginaries that deviated from official narratives.
Li Shih-ke The Deprived Who Author
Their Own Fate Introduction
Li Shih-ke was born in 1927 in Changle County, S h a n d o n g Prov i n c e, w h e re h e at t a i n e d a n elementary school education. During the SinoJapanese War, Li participated in guerrilla warfare to resist Japanese fascism. After the end of the Chinese Civil War, Li retreated with Kuomintang forces to Taiwan in 1949. He retired from the Kuomintang army in 1959 due to illness. Alone and encountering many difficulties, Li did not manage to find a viable job until 1968 when he became a taxi driver. By 1982, Li felt that Taiwan's distribution of wealth had become too unbalanced due to collusion between big business and government. His anger compelled him to rob Taipei's Land Bank on April 14, 1982, which he did wearing a wig, TheCUBE