In a bid to shape Taiwanese cultural identity, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) yesterday announced the launch of public hearings as part of its efforts to prepare a white paper that would serve as the draft for a cultural basic act
Speaking at a news conference at the former headquarters of the Japanese colonial era Taiwan Minpao (台灣民報) in Taipei, Cheng said that the ministry would hold the hearings in the same spirit as the cultural pioneers who led the nation’s first cultural movement in the 1920s, which fundamentally reshaped society.
It is important that the nation does not ignore its culture, especially at a time when the majority of the public is focused on the pursuit of economic growth, she said, citing as an example a series of cultural movements that blossomed in post-war Taiwan — including folk literature, Taiwanese folk songs and the New Wave cinema movements — despite the nation’s heavy focus on economic development at the time.
Photo: Chen Yi-chuan, Taipei Times
As people are the bedrock of culture, the ministry hopes to tap into the public’s collective wisdom to form a system that supports the creation of cultural works and ensures that everyone has an equal ability to enjoy and participate in cultural activities, Cheng said.
The ministry has scheduled four hearings from this month to the middle of next month in Kaohsiung, Hualien County, Changhua County and Taipei, while 13 sub-forums have been scheduled nationwide from late this month to June, she said.
Cheng said that she hopes to nurture Taiwan into the “Formosa of the world,” encouraging people to take part in the hearings to review existing cultural policies while new ones are formed, thereby outlining the nation’s diverse culture.
The discussions are to center on six themes: reforming cultural governance and organizational restructuring; supporting creative freedom in art and culture; cultural preservation and consolidation; developing a sustainable “culture economy” and cultural and creative sectors; promoting cultural diversity and exchanges; and cross-industry collaboration between the cultural and technology sectors, she said.
The first draft for the act was proposed 20 years ago, but legislative efforts have languished, as lawmakers across party lines have yet to arrive at a consensus on how the act should be written, Cheng said.
The ministry expects the draft to be approved by the Executive Yuan by May 20, in time for a review during the upcoming legislative session, she said.
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