Art and the Sunflower Movement

Art and the Sunflower Movement

What role did art play in the Sunflower Movement?

Art served many roles in the Sunflower Movement. For one, art has been a unifying force for the Sunflower Generation. An “activist subculture” formed in Taiwan between youth activists and in many cases, youth activists watch the same movies, listen to the same music, and etc. As such, the fact that youth activists are on the same page culturally has been a decisive factor in knitting together youth activists as a social unit.

Likewise, during the Legislative Yuan occupation itself, a number of art installations sprung up in the area around the Legislative Yuan.  While these had, in part, a purely decorative function, part of their utility was in constructing the occupation area around the Legislative Yuan as a space, a physical environment, removed from the everyday reality of the Taipei (台北) landscape that surrounded it, governed as it is by the ebb and flow of everyday life and the work cycle.

As the Legislative Yuan occupation took place in the seat of power of the Taiwanese government, the sense that the Sunflower Movement occupation was something at a remove from everyday life gave people the sense that the occupation was an act of self-empowerment, by which people seized control of political power back to their own hands.

There was something quite utopian about this. Occupations, after all, sometimes come to be seen as places of liberation, “temporary autonomous zones” in which the rules of everyday life in capitalist society do not hold. Within occupations, for example, food and water are distributed freely to all who need it. In this sense, there was a highly utopian aspect to the Sunflower Movement occupation of the Legislative Yuan.


Read More About the Role Art Played In The Sunflower Movement:


Photo credit: Billy1125/Flickr/CC