The Ministry of Culture is holding an open call for photograph submissions centered on two specific themes – historic sites and Taiwan's public health and medical care – from Sept. 1 to 30, to paint a holistic portrait of Taiwan's past and to build a collective memory of COVID-19 and previous public health crises.
The submissions will be of two main categories – "Loving Monuments" and "Collecting Memories." The former is designated to collect a virtual archive of images of historical sites in Taiwan, whereas the later will highlight public health-themed subjects in light of the unprecedented time of crisis, spanning from the doctor–patient relationship, medical care system, environmental hygiene, to traditional healing practices.
The open call is part of the Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank project launched by the Ministry in 2017 to preserve and reconstruct the collective memories of the land and the people of Taiwan. Starting from the basis of having a macro vision of Taiwan's culture, the project aims to document people's cultural life by creating a publicly accessible database.
Winning works on heritage sites will be submitted to the world's largest photography competition for historical monuments, Wiki Loves Monuments, to expand the licensable collection of photographs on Taiwan's heritage sites and gather more unique photos of local cultural sights and scenes.
In line with the open call, a total of five locally tailored events will take place across Taiwan throughout September to shed light on the importance of public health, local histories, and community-specific collective memories. People wishing to participate are welcome to bring their own photos or personal items that encapsulate memories from a particular period of time.
To draw attention on medical photography and the vulnerability of human beings in the face of illness, the event in Hsinchu will feature local physicians and documentary directors, while workers from nursing homes in central Taiwan will share their lesser-known stories at the workshop in Changhua.
The event in Tainan, meanwhile, will be centered on how Taiwan's folk beliefs and rituals from different periods of time have been applied in the face of various diseases.
The talk in Hualien will focus on the development of public Health and medical institutions in the eastern county of Taiwan over the past hundred plus years, while the event in Taitung will discuss the role of ancient indigenous rituals in enhancing public health. Visit here for more information.