Indigenous Justice Classroom is a collective consisting of documentary director Mayaw Biho, musicians Panai Kusui, Nabu Husungan Istanda, indigenous Taiwanese creatives, and people from all ethnicities and backgrounds that mutually care for the land. Indigenous Justice Classroom initiated the protest ‘Indigenous Ketagalan Boulevard protest’ in 2017, following the announcement of Taiwan’s new ‘Regulations for Demarcating Indigenous Traditional Territories.’ These regulations oppose the principles defined in ‘The Indigenous Peoples’ Basic Law’ and could therefore enable the exploitation of indigenous territories by big corporations, hinder the development of indigenous culture and damage the environment. The protest set up camps in front of the Presidential Palace on the Ketagalan Boulevard. They were evicted by the police a hundred days later and relocated to the nearby NTU Hospital MRT station, exit 1. Six hundred days have gone by since the protest began.
The vibrancy of this social movement is tangible within its exhibition at Taipei Biennial: tents from past protest camps hang haphazardly upside-down, slogans are scrawled across scattered towels, a circle of rocks resembles an ancient ritual, and houses a lily formed from Indigenous ephemera woven together. This piece has, in fact, bloomed out of the urban concrete jungle—created by the group as they sit in protest, and make art in relay. During the biennial, other contributing artists are invited to partake in the process, and enter a shared territory in which to gain and raise awareness of Ketagalan’s activity.
Accompanying this installation is a documentary film, displayed upon a large cone-shaped bamboo shelf. The film chronicles the movements and grievances of Indigenous people in Taiwan throughout recent history, and how this has led into the Ketagalan Boulevard Protest, and also charts how long each Indigenous protest has been standing. This presentation is activated by seven, open Ketagalan Boulevard Seminar sessions during which Indigenous Justice Classroom aim to spark discussions and interactions inside the museum, highlighting the endangerment of Indigenous territory and culture, in Taiwan and internationally.
Indigenous Justice Classroom, initiated on 23 February, 2017 in Taiwan.
Ketagalan Boulevard Seminar
Venue: 103 Sculpture Courtyard
‘No Outisder’: Songs and Dialogue
Speaker: Panai Kusui
‘Come Listen to the Rocks Talk’: Film and Dialogue
Speaker: Mayaw Biho
‘Art, Movement, Relay’: Dialogue
Speakers: Artists Collective for the Stone Art Relay Action (Eleng Luluan and others, a total of 5 artists)
Please visit our official website (www.taipeibiennial.org/2018) for information on the speakers and topics for the sessions on 5 January, 19 January, 16 February, and 2 March, 2019.