A traveling exhibition commemorating the 30th anniversary of the end of martial law will make its first stop at the Former Japanese Navy Fongshan Communication Center in Kaohsiung on Aug. 22.
The exhibition is curated based on contemporary research on historical sites in relations to the period of White Terror. Between 2014 and 2015, the research project identified 45 negative heritage sites across Taiwan that were used for prosecution under martial law.
The first stop in Kaohsiung will focus on the government’s procedure for prosecuting political dissidents during the martial-law era. Moreover, it will showcase local stories of political victims and their families to present the memories of Kaohsiung.
The Former Japanese Navy Fongshan Communication Center was originally built by the Japanese government to cope with the huge demand for wartime communications. After the retrocession of Taiwan, the center was taken over by the Republic of China Navy and divided into a military dependents’ village, a telecommunication station, and the Fongshan Guest House.
However, the guest house was in fact a secret facility for interrogation, trial, imprisonment, and inhumane punishment for anyone caught by military authorities for supporting the Chinese Communists, fleeing with naval vessels, or criticizing the government.
The exhibition seeks to promote human rights education and transitional justice by guiding the public to understand the historical past at each negative heritage site.
Learning sheets listing the basic files of political dissidents will be available at the counter for visitors to learn about the process of arrest, interrogation, extraction of confession through torture, military prosecution, trial, sentence, and imprisonment or execution by following the real-life stories of the persecuted.
Organized by the Preparatory Office of the National Human Rights Museum, the exhibition is part of yearlong cultural events marking the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law. Following Kaohsiung, it will travel to six other cities and counties across Taiwan and connect all the White Terror negative heritage sites.
‘Prison Island of Taiwan: Landscape of Injustice under White Terror’
- Date: Aug. 22 – Nov. 30, 2017
- Venue: Former Japanese Navy Fongshan Communication Center
- Address: Shengli Road, Fengshan District, Kaohsiung City, 830, Taiwan (ROC)
- Website: http://www.vcreative.com.tw
- Organizer: Preparatory Office of the National Human Rights Museum