2024

Cinematic Taiwan
Identity: Lost and Found

2024

Cinematic Taiwan
Identity: Lost and Found
Aug 25
Studio Theatre
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

About the Program

“Where do I come from? Who am I? What have I become?”

Suana, Vaqacun, Masaw, and Abus—four Indigenous musicians who grew up in the urban city. They have all felt dissonance with their Indigenous ancestry, and now, as adults and artists, they are facing their history and heritage, returning to their tribes to re-find the pieces of their identity.

They met because of music, and formed the band Kanatal to explore their Indigenous roots. Kanatal means "island" in the Amis language; it also happens to sound similar to “Canada”. With the wish to communicate with the cultural organizations and Indigenous peoples of North America, the band composed music that integrated both tradition and contemporary sound. Using songs written in their mother tongues as Indigenous of Taiwan, they travelled across the ocean to have in-depth cultural dialogues with various communities of Canada.

Walking through the halls of a former Indian Residential School, learning the ongoing struggle of the local Indigenous for their rights, including art, politics, and the public’s current attention to the government’s past persecution of the Indigenous peoples, the members of Kanatal gained not only knowledge but experienced deep emotions on this musical exchange. On this journey, step by step, they discovered new possibilities to rediscover their own Indigenous identity…

Paiwan director Tjaikung Rusegeseg accompanied the band and filmed the entire process of its formation and memorable tour to Canada in 2022. He recorded the challenges the members encountered, and the cultural impact they felt in the new environment; the starting point to the emotional changes, as well as the inner turmoil and determination to face their cultural roots and self-identity.

Tjaikung Rusegeseg
Director

A video producer and director from the Paiwan tribe of Taitung.

Despite his Paiwan ancestry, Tjaikung Rusegeseg did not live in the tribe growing up, and so feels alienated from his tribe’s traditional culture. Because of this, he has devoted himself to recording the creations and stories of Indigenous peoples in an effort to close the distance between the urban life and the people of the tribes. Through his work, he wants to explore the relationship between contemporary and traditional culture. With years of photography and film experience, Tjaikung Rusegeseg captures emotional depths and meaningful moments.

From the Curating Team

Cinematic Taiwan explores Taiwan and the self through a concert that transcends time, and a music tour that searches for Indigenous roots.

About the Program

“Where do I come from? Who am I? What have I become?”

Suana, Vaqacun, Masaw, and Abus—four Indigenous musicians who grew up in the urban city. They have all felt dissonance with their Indigenous ancestry, and now, as adults and artists, they are facing their history and heritage, returning to their tribes to re-find the pieces of their identity.

They met because of music, and formed the band Kanatal to explore their Indigenous roots. Kanatal means "island" in the Amis language; it also happens to sound similar to “Canada”. With the wish to communicate with the cultural organizations and Indigenous peoples of North America, the band composed music that integrated both tradition and contemporary sound. Using songs written in their mother tongues as Indigenous of Taiwan, they travelled across the ocean to have in-depth cultural dialogues with various communities of Canada.

Walking through the halls of a former Indian Residential School, learning the ongoing struggle of the local Indigenous for their rights, including art, politics, and the public’s current attention to the government’s past persecution of the Indigenous peoples, the members of Kanatal gained not only knowledge but experienced deep emotions on this musical exchange. On this journey, step by step, they discovered new possibilities to rediscover their own Indigenous identity…

Paiwan director Tjaikung Rusegeseg accompanied the band and filmed the entire process of its formation and memorable tour to Canada in 2022. He recorded the challenges the members encountered, and the cultural impact they felt in the new environment; the starting point to the emotional changes, as well as the inner turmoil and determination to face their cultural roots and self-identity.

Tjaikung Rusegeseg
Director

A video producer and director from the Paiwan tribe of Taitung.

Despite his Paiwan ancestry, Tjaikung Rusegeseg did not live in the tribe growing up, and so feels alienated from his tribe’s traditional culture. Because of this, he has devoted himself to recording the creations and stories of Indigenous peoples in an effort to close the distance between the urban life and the people of the tribes. Through his work, he wants to explore the relationship between contemporary and traditional culture. With years of photography and film experience, Tjaikung Rusegeseg captures emotional depths and meaningful moments.

From the Curating Team

Cinematic Taiwan explores Taiwan and the self through a concert that transcends time, and a music tour that searches for Indigenous roots.

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TAIWANfest Toronto is grateful to be held on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, that is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We acknowledge our privilege to be gathered here, and commit to work with and be respectful to the Indigenous peoples of this land while we engage in meaningful conversations of culture and reconciliation.

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