In commemoration of Taiwan’s third decade free of martial law, the National Museum of Taiwan History will hold a special exhibition offering insights on daily life under martial law in Taiwan. “The Defiers” will run from Nov. 28, 2017 through June 24, 2018 in Tainan City.
Through the display and introduction of cultural relics, historic documents, and videos, the exhibition will take visitors back to the martial law era and pay homage to the defiers who fought for Taiwan democracy from 1949 to 1987.
The exhibition will begin with a living room that is decorated with vintage items related to that era, such as certificates won in competitions for showing patriotism or commemorating Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正).
Outside the living room will be street scenes where objects like pinball machines are painted with campaign mottos like “down with the Communist bandits.” There will also be a replicated cinema house offering synopsis of war movies, nationalistic posters, and patriotic tickets embellished with popular propaganda slogans.
These scenes will effectively convey how stringent laws and regulations were felt and seen everywhere in that era, and how the “Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion” restrained all types of freedom.
The exhibition will also be screening a documentary film on the Green Team (綠色小組), an activist group established in 1986 that advocated social reform through photographic images and videos.
The documentary will show how the group members – with their faces half-shrouded and heads covered with a bamboo hat – presented TV news on an independent channel to reveal the truth behind the street protests against the government. Their reportage photography also documented many important social movements in Taiwan.
Museum Director Wang Chang-hua (王長華) noted that “38 years of martial law” and “30 years of the end of martial law” are not only new landmarks of Taiwan’s political reformation, but also opportunities for contemplating on history. The exhibition hopes to lead audiences to create a free, democratic, and just Taiwan by reconsidering and challenging institutional slogans in contemporary life.
‘The Defiers: 30 Years After End of Martial Law’
- Date: Nov. 28 – June 24, 2018
- Venue: The National Museum of Taiwan History
- Address: No. 250 Zhanghe Road Section 1, Annan District, Tainan City, 709
- Website: https://www.nmth.gov.tw/