The 2013 Green Island Human Rights Art Festival, which was held at a cultural and memorial park on the outlying Green Island, successfully concluded on May 17.
Held to commemorate the victims of Taiwan's martial law era — known as White Terror — and to pay tribute to the nation's human rights progress since then, the festival included a windmill-making workshop, a memorial concert and an art exhibition.
The windmill-making workshop took place early Friday and brought together some 100 children and former victims of political persecution to make toy windmills. Their small, colorful windmills were then placed next to the organizer's larger one to symbolize the course of human rights history.
A memorial concert featuring the Shih Chien University's symphony orchestra and conductor Dr. Ouyang Hui-kang began at 5:30 p.m. Their repertoire paid homage to the White Terror period by including the "Song of Rebirth,” a correctional song that the reluctant Green Island prisoners were once forced to sing before going to bed.
Next came a performance piece created by dancer Ouyang Hui-chen. To tell the story of her parents — Ouyang Chien-hua and Chang Chang-mei — when they were imprisoned on the Green Island, Ouyang evoked music and dance to portray the sad situation of humanity during the White Terror.
The festival drew to a close amid two songs sang by schoolchildren, "Whisper of the Westerly Wind” and "My Baby,” to symbolize the lasting legacy of human rights, democracy and freedom.
The Ministry of Culture and the Preparatory Office of the National Human Rights Museum revisit the White Terror issues on May 17 every year, said Wang Yi-chun, director of the preparatory office. In addition to an oral history project, the office helps younger generations to understand Taiwanese history through the creation of musicals, arts and literature on the theme of the White Terror.
The festival ended on Friday, but a special exhibition will continue displaying the artworks of four former Green Island prisoners — Ouyang Wen, Ouyang Chien-hua, Yang Chin-hai and Chen Meng-he — until Oct. 15 at the Green Island Human Rights Memorial Park.
Dancers from the Ouyang Hui-Chen Art Dance Company perform a dance called “Spirits of Taiwan.”
Director Wang Yi-chun (center) poses with former political victims and their families next to the windmill of human rights.
Conductor Ouyang Hui-kang and the Shih Chien University’s symphony orchestra perform the “Green Island Serenade.”