The Gongsheng Music Festival, a student-led event to commemorate the 228 Incident, is to see its seventh instalment on Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard on Thursday next week.
The festival this year is to feature performances by Golden Melody Award-winning Hakka band UrbanCat (二本貓), alt-rock trio Guntzepaula (槍擊潑辣), rock band Leather Lattice (皮格子) and others, organizers said.
Singer-songwriter Dadado Huang (黃玠), who had a family member who was a White Terror victim, is also to perform and tell his family’s story, event coordinator Hsu Hsiang-pi (徐祥弼) said on Saturday.
Squid congee, which is often served and eaten at events commemorating the 228 Incident, would also be available at the festival, organizers said.
On March 10, 1947, two lawyers — Lee Jui-han (李瑞漢) and his brother Lee Jui-feng (李瑞峰) — and Taiwan Provincial Assembly member Lin Lien-tsung (林連宗) are said to have been taken away by military police officers while eating squid congee at home. They never returned.
Since then, their families have eaten squid congee on March 10 each year to remember them — a tradition that has spread to 228 Incident commemorations nationwide.
This year, organizers have for the first time used Instagram to host a guessing game, posting a series of descriptions based on the experiences of a notable figure involved in the aftermath of the 228 Incident and asking followers to guess who the figure is, he said.
They hope to use the platform to get younger audiences more deeply involved with the 228 Incident and transitional justice, he said.
On Saturday and yesterday, festival organizers also hosted a workshop on the history of the 228 Incident at the National 228 Memorial Museum.
The two-day event included lectures by 228 Memorial Foundation chairman Hsueh Hua-yuan (薛化元), Academia Sinica Institute of Modern History associate research fellow Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深) and other academics, as well as group discussions, textual analysis and presentations, Hsu said.
The workshop was originally open only to students above the senior-high school level, but after receiving multiple requests, the organizers allowed teachers to sign up as well, he added.
Organizers said that the Gongsheng Music Festival attracts about 6,000 to 10,000 people every year and is the largest event commemorating the 228 Incident.
The festival was given its name because the character gong (共, “together”) is written using the same stokes used to write er er ba (二二八, “228”) and because it embodies the South African concept of ubuntu, or compassion and humanity, organizers said.
By remembering past conflicts and animosity, they said they hope to explore issues of justice and to facilitate understanding between different groups.
The 228 Incident refers to a crackdown launched by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime after civilian demonstrations erupted following an incident in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947.
The event marked the beginning of the White Terror era, during which thousands were arrested, imprisoned and executed.
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