Green Island human rights festival revisits White Terror history
The opening ceremony of the 2017 Green Island Human Rights Arts Festival was held on the eve of May 17 at Oasis Villa on Green Island, a site of suffering during the White Terror era. About 100 former political victims and family members restored the truth of history through images, drama, and a special exhibition to share the bloodshed and sorrow caused by the nation-wide violence against human rights during martial-ruled Taiwan.
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun, who was unable to attend the activities as scheduled because her flight could not land due to the abrupt change in weather, requested Director Wang Yi-chun (王逸群) of the Preparatory Office of the National Human Rights Museum to convey her remarks.
In addition to affirming the contributions made by political victims by their long-term participation in restoring the park and facilities on Green Island, the Minister reiterated the nation’s mission and vision of promoting transitional justice.
Only by “restoring the truth of history, vindicating political victims, and creating a new society of dialogue and reconciliation” will this nation achieve its goal of deepening democracy, freedom, and justice and safeguarding universal human rights, she added.
The Preparatory Office of the National Human Rights Museum kicks off the Green Island Human Rights Arts Festival on May 17 every year to commemorate the political victims who were persecuted under White Terror and suffered imprisonment and torture on Green Island.
This year, the exhibitions include “From Virtual Giant Evil to Court Verdict,” a woodcarving exhibition by veteran artist and political victim Chen Wu-chen (陳武鎮), and “Returning to Taiyuan in a Dream: Seeing Green Villa Again,” a showcase of farewell letters by the late Chiang Ping-hsing (江炳興) and four other martyrs of the 1970 Taiyuan Incident (泰源事件).
Several plays and musicals also debuted at the festival, including “Green Island Lily (綠島百合).” Adapted from a true story, the musical drama revolves around how “some political victims would rather give up their freedom or life for their beliefs; a Green Island woman would rather sacrifice her life for the sake of love and loyalty.” The storyline was penned by Wu Wen-huei (吳文慧), daughter of political victim Wu Yi-min (吳逸民), to reflect the helplessness of ordinary people trapped by the confinements of their era.
The Green Island Human Rights Arts Festival will run through July 30 at the Green Island Human Rights and Culture Park. For more information, please visit www.nhrm.gov.tw.