Following 15 months of preparation, the Daybreak Project, a 300,000-word English-language online interactive encyclopedia and oral history archive about the 2014 Sunflower movement, is to be officially launched on Friday.
Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of the student-led protests in March and April 2014 against the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government’s handling of a cross-strait service trade agreement.
The protesters occupied the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber in Taipei for almost 23 days and at one point stormed the Executive Yuan building, with thousands of supporters participating in public rallies nationwide in a show of solidarity with those in the chamber.
Compiled by Taiwan Foundation for Democracy fellow Brian Hioe (丘琦欣), the project is to be available to the public for free online and includes more than 50 interviews with key players in the Sunflower movement, including Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), a breakaway group called the “Jianmin Liberation Zone” (賤民解放區) and the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan.
“The project is in part an attempt to understand the confluence of social forces which led to the explosion of the Sunflower movement, in part an attempt to track the complex subjective motivations which undergirded participation in the movement and lastly an attempt to record recent history before it becomes lost,” Hioe wrote on the project’s Web site.
“The Sunflower movement has been a pivotal event thus far in the history of Taiwan in the 21st century and it deserves to be recorded in history in as detailed a manner as possible,” he said, adding that the project welcomes outside contributions.
The “subjectivities underlying participants of the Sunflower movement prove a valuable record of the unfolding and continued development of Taiwanese identity in the 21st century,” Hioe said.
Hioe, Lin and other leaders of the movement this week traveled to the University of California at Berkeley to participate in a two-day symposium titled “Sunflowers and Umbrellas: Social Movements, Expressive Practices, and Political Culture in Taiwan and Hong Kong.”
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