Localization of Education/Knowledge and Globalization of Practice/Field: Starting from an Old Harbor to a New Bay in Kaohsiung

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Current LocationLocalization of Education/Knowledge and Globalization of Practice/Field: Starting from an Old Harbor to a New Bay in Kaohsiung

Sustainable Cian Cao, Best Local Revitalization

Comparable to the Rhine, Cianjhen River was named as “a Black River” as the construction of river cutoff had begun since 1979. Afterwards, Cianjhen and Caoya have been endowed with an elegant water bank. Since 1960s, the ship-breaking industry in Cian Cao area played a crucial role in the economic take-off of Taiwan. Moreover, the first-founded Processing Export Park here in 1966 drastically changed the gender structure of Taiwan’s industries, attracting tons of laborers to boom this area. However, with the trend of globalization and the rise of China’s economy, the manufacturing industries moved off Taiwan; thus, days of glory passed, and Cian Cao was turned into a “Rust Belt” without vitality. Fortunately, a group of the Cian Cao youth followed their pioneers staying Cian Cao and exerted all their strength. They have been fully involved in cultivating artistry, polishing the environment by toughness, and creating another sense of life belonging to Cian Cao.

Interpretations of Great Cian Cao Stories

The 2019 performance in Weiwuying, “Kaohsiung Story”, had good reviews. The show is a theatrical interpretation of local stories in which participants are mostly students from Xingren Junior High School. From this show, students begin to think deeply about the birthplace. The negligence of grassroots in Cian Cao comes from insufficient self-identity, instead of lack of hope. Living next to Cianjhen Fishing Port, Pei-ting Lin, one of the performers, said that she often listens to stories of shipyards from the elders. Such theatrical performance enables her to know more about her hometown.

In 2021, the project invites E-Mu Theater as a co-director of “The Youth Ferrying” by Xingren Junior High School students. Young students visit several metropolitans all over the world, while they know little about hometown. The co-host of this project, Yi-Xin Wu acknowledges that practical experiences of Cian Cao people broaden their visions of life. Meanwhile, performance of Cian Cao local stories is transformed into teaching materials of local knowledge that will help young students realize the potential of Cian Cao area.

Hands-on Youth, Being Sweet

Returning to Cian Cao from Taipei in 2017, Jian-Han Qiu made use of his grandparents’ house to launch a business called “Izumi August” Ice Shop. The reason why he chose an ice shop is Kaohsiung’s mostly hot weather. The combination of ice and Osmanthus leads Jian-Han to his start-up.After graduating from college, Jian-Han worked in financial industry and felt no sense of belonging in such a fast-paced metropolitan city. Thus, he decided to launch a business in Cian Cao. Initially his parents had doubts about his decision. Jian-Han accidentally found a wonderful flavor of Osmanthus honey and ice. He was fully devoted to proportionately blending the two ingredients before officially selling the ice product. His parents no longer oppose but support and accompany him.

Shi-qi Yang, the host of the project, pointed out that Jian-Han is not the only one who returned to hometown and launched a business. In Cian Cao, lots of people have been running their own business to create a unique sense of place here. As the society is currently filled with an atmosphere of downturn and frustration, the younger generations in Cian Cao, with personality of hardworking shown in seniors, won a place for themselves based on toughness. Based on resources from the last generation, they turn over a new leaf of life surrounded by kinship and nostalgia of a place. The process of their launching a business explains that practical experience is more than physical work. In other words, it is developed from an idea before someone puts it into practice. Thus, a turning point is possibly shown in difficulties.

2021 Cian Cao Try Try Festival: Youth Bang Bang

Shi-qian Hung, the co-host of the project, says that Cian Cao area had undergone stages of migration and being-left-out and the daily aesthetic on labor can be cultivated by interpreting and evaluating values of labor and sense of a place. “2021 Cian Cao Try Try Festival: Youth Bang Bang”, held on Oct. 23-24, 2021, is a local story of the Cian Cao youth. By reconstructing local and self identities, it aims to display to the world a wild soul of Cian Cao in expectation for this place as a livable city.

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