Scott Ezell, the American folk singer featured in last week's Taipei Times Sunday Features who faces deportation over a free musical performance, was granted a three-month suspension on his deportation order this week by the Council for Labor Affairs (CLA). \nEzell had been notified earlier this month that his work permit with Taiwan Colors Music was revoked based on a report by Taitung foreign affairs police that the American had violated the terms of the Employment Services Act when he participated in a series of concerts at a cultural center in the township of Dulan, north of Taitung. The law, which forbids foreigners from performing any sort of labor, paid or unpaid, to a second employer, was applied in Ezell's case, despite the performance's backing from the Taitung Cultural Affairs Bureau. The original notice that his work permit was canceled allowed Ezell 14 days to leave the country. He was notified of his suspension one working day before his planned departure. \nThe suspension of Ezell's deportation order was granted pending an appeal to the Executive Yuan which claiming procedural irregularities on the part of the Taitung police. \nThe CLA is not authorized to investigate reports by police regarding violations of work permits and canceled Ezell's following the receipt of the Taitung police report which included a statement by Ezell that he had been a part of the Dulan Organic Music Series, a series of concerts featuring local folk singers. \nEzell alleges the statement was obtained without his full understanding of its contents, and was misled about its potential use in a criminal case to revoke his work permit. Ezell alleges he was not read his right to representation nor his right to remain silent. \nThe appeal in Ezell's case could be complete within three months, before the end of the suspension of his deportation order. During the appeal process, Ezell is not permitted to continue working for his original employer. \nEzell was employed as a translator by Taiwan Colors Music and was involved in artistic activities at a local arts community in Dulan.
The 22nd Taipei Arts Festival (臺北藝術節) opens tonight with three productions, a slightly scaled-down pandemic version that seeks to keep its tradition of big ideas, challenging programs and international connections alive and moving forward in an increasingly uncertain world. The theme of this year’s festival is “Super@#S%?” — as good a term as any when descriptives and superlatives seem not only inadequate, but somewhat irrelevant in a world where so many people cannot imagine being able to return to theaters, either as performers or audience members — they are too worried about having a job and their health. Technically, however, it is
Shuanglianpi (雙連埤) is both a Hakka outpost and a place of great ecological interest. The conjoined body of water from which it gets its name is the centerpiece of the 17.16-hectare Shuanglianpi Wildlife Refuge (雙連埤野生動物保護區). No waterways of significance fill or drain this scenic lake in Yilan County’s Yuanshan Township (員山鄉). During the 1895 to 1945 period of Japanese rule, the colonial authorities — struggling to secure Taiwan’s foothills — encouraged Han people to settle in areas adjacent to indigenous communities. Around 1910, a 49-year-old Hakka pioneer called Tsou Cheng-sheng (鄒成生) from what’s now Taoyuan decided to begin farming at
Since its launch in 2014, the Taiwan Season has increasingly become a “must-see” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So, when this year’s three-week Fringe became an early casualty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Chen Pin-chuan (陳斌全) was determined that the Taiwan Season must continue in some form. Chen, director of the Cultural Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, says that he and Taiwan Season curator and producer Yeh Jih-wen (葉紀紋) had been thinking of ways of growing and adding value to the season anyway. The crisis and the cancellation of the live performances brought those ideas forward as
Wild Sparrow (野雀之詩) is simple and extremely slow paced, told through the eyes of Han (Kao Yu-hsia, 高於夏), an introspective, shy grade schooler who lives with his great-grandmother in the verdant countryside. Han has a fascination with sparrows, which are either flying high in the sky or trapped in cages and nets, providing a constant metaphor throughout the film. In the most ironic scene, a man catches the birds just to charge people to set them free again, taking advantage of Buddhists who engage in the ritual of “releasing” animals from captivity. Han takes a badly injured sparrow home and