• 11/15/2017

講 題:國家意象的競逐:太陽花運動視覺文化中的國家認同
主講人:Robin Verrall (中研院社會所訪問學員,加拿大約克大學政治系博士候選人)


時 間:106年11月30日(星期四)下午2時30 分 - 下午4時30分
地 點:社會所802會議室 

This paper considers how participants in the 2014 Sunflower Movement (SM) used national identities to legitimate their movement and demands. In particular, I look at the visual materials (posters, drawing, photographs, pamphlets, etc.) produced during the 23-day long occupation of the Legislative Yuan, and note patterns in the symbols and images used to frame key actors and issues in terms of national identity.‘Framing’ describes how actors present an issue in ways that predispose others to interpret and respond to that issue in a particular way, which is essential to social mobilization. Currently, most frame analysis of social movements deals with written or spoken texts. However, there is growing interest in visual framing as a mobilization tool, because images can communicate at a pre-cognitive level and are often able to elicit deep emotional responses more easily than written text. By looking for patterns in how the SM framed itself as a national movement rather than a special interest group, we can uncover implicit conceptions of national identity which resonated with the broader public.     I propose a multidimensional model of national identity, suggesting five different ways of imagining ‘the nation’: historical, ancestral, territorial, governmental, and social. This offers a way of thinking about national frames which is more nuanced and flexible than the civic-ethnic binary model which is widespread in studies of Taiwanese political identity.  In short, instead of asking what the ‘true’ nature of Taiwanese Identity is, this model looks at the different ways political actors use different national identity frames to gain public support.This paper presents the preliminary findings from my larger dissertation research comparing visual and textual presentations of national identity in the Sunflower Movement. I discuss the three most common patterns of ‘national’ imagery used by the SM: the island, the president, and the flag. First, through the repeated use of the image of the island of Taiwan, the SM identified itself with the physical territory, and through personification of the island and stylistic choices they also elicited narratives of Taiwan as the ‘orphan of Asia’. Thus, the SM was able to place themselves in a much older tradition of Taiwanese independence movements without explicitly referencing them. Second, I look at the use of images of then-president Ma Ying-jeou. In SM imagery, Ma is often presented as an outsider or traitor, rather than as a domestic political opponent. A range of visual techniques were used to question Ma’s legitimacy, loyalty, and values. I suggest this was accomplished primarily by associating him with historical narratives of national identity. Third, I look at how the SM appropriated the ROC flag. Because of its close association the Guomindang and Chinese national identity, the ROC flag is an especially contentious ‘national’ symbol. Rather than reject the flag as a symbol of Chinese nationalism, the SM used parody and careful juxtaposition of contrasting imagery to reclaim the ROC flag as a symbol of Taiwanese nationalism.  I conclude by considering some implications for democratic politics in Taiwan. 

Robin Verrall is a PhD candidate in Political Science at York University in Toronto, Canada, and currently a visiting doctoral student at the Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology and Dissertation Fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. In addition to eight years teaching in Japan and China, he has an interdisciplinary background, integrating a range of humanities and social science perspectives. His research interests include the intersection of cultural and national identity in East Asia, and how notions of national identities are produced, reproduced, and contested through both political action and popular culture. In particular he is interested in how people contest official nationalist ideologies in everyday life and in political action. His current research is on the 2014 Sunflower Movement.