Taiwan's Unsung Heroes


During our many field trips in Taiwan, we met extraordinary people, everyday heroes who are not mentioned by the media. These people work in a thousand different ways for the well-being of their community, the preservation of their culture or the transmission of knowledge on Taiwan.

These are the people we have decided to highlight. Through short films made by the Taiwan Studies team and their friends, we want to show how these people affected or impressed us, so that their actions and their spirit may be shared beyond the island.

Homeland is a Blessing

2022. Directed by Hsieh Chwen-ching.

Named after native Taiwanese plants, Fevervine Dance Theatre seeks to express the Taiwanese subjectivity.
Through family memories, literature, culture, folklore and heritage, the troupe probes memory and questions forgetfulness. By means of the relentless quest and reconstruction of the inner self they project onto the stage, they invite us on a journey into the heart of sensitiveness and intimacy. 

De la terre noire à l’encre

2022. Directed by Michèle Leung.

Tayu Ink (dayouzhimo 大有製墨) is today the last remaining artisanal ink factory in Taiwan. As a modelling material, ink has the ability to take on various forms as it is mixed, kneaded and moulded. From a shapeless paste, it becomes a real collection object. Between manual and mechanical work, the director Chen Juntian and his apprentice Chouchou (Baobei), shape the ink sticks together.


Based on the observations of a field survey conducted in 2019, the documentary immerses us in the daily life
of the craftsmen, between the rhythmic gestures and the deafening noise of the machines.

Blessed Corps

2022. Directed by Hsieh Chwen-ching.

Ba Jia Jiang is one of the temple parades known as Zhèn Tóu in Taiwan. It’s a symbol of exorcism, Zhensha (evil repression) and peaceful blessing. Ba Jia Jiang started around early 20th century in Tainan, and was widely developed in the Chia-yi area afterwards.
This summer, we organized a Summer Ba Jia Jiang Camp for children in Chia-yi Zhen You Tang Hall. Children from local Chung-Wen Elementary school participated in the three-day activities. We took this opportunity to further record the current situation and inheritance of Ba Jia Jiang.

Blessed Days

2020. Directed by Hsieh Chwen-ching.

That day, Chieh-an and her friends visited the Blessed Seals House and the shopping area where it’s located, around Longshan Temple. The area used to be called Bangka/Monga, and is the part of Taipei Basin that had been developed the earliest. Blessed House is managed by Mr. Jhan Jin-yu and his wife. They’ve done manual engraving here for nearly half a century. Later in the day, Min, a young designer, showed Chieh-an and her friends The Huaxi Night Market, known as Snake Alley in the past.

The era of seals is fading away, the flow of people in Snake Alley has dwindled. The image of making seals and the old memories of the area that remain in local culinary culture makes these young friends feel both familiar and distant.

Being Tsou

2020. Directed by Marine Giangregorio & Zhang Yu.

Alishan is a mountain range located on the island of Taiwan. It is a traditional territory of the Tsou people. We met them in the heart of the Tapangu village, in order to ask some members of the Tsou tribe about their role in the preservation of customs and their contribution to the local economic activity.

This film was screened on 23 October 2020 at EHESS, as part of the event “Being Tsou: Modernity and tradition in Taiwan’s indigenous communities”.
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Commitment! 練馬可老師與台灣社會學1955~1999

2010. Directed by Yu-yueh Tsai. 25 minutes.

This film is about Professor Mark Thelin, an America Sociologist who came to Taiwan and had devoted his life to teaching and promoting Sociology from 1955 to 1999. He won the Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Taiwanese Sociological Association. This film was shown at the 2010 Annual Conference of the Taiwanese Sociological Association held in Taipei.