Travel Archive

  • Hand in glove: Taiwan-born movie star branches out to chart his own course

    Hand in glove: Taiwan-born movie star branches out to chart his own course

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Ignacio Huang (黃勝煌) is a puppet master. But unlike Argentina’s political operators, he doesn’t pull strings. “It’s glove puppetry,” says Huang of budaixi (布袋戲, traditional Taiwanese puppetry), which in recent years has replaced the big screen as his bread and butter. Ahead of legislative elections in Argentina […]

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  • Fisherman’s friend? Film festival documentary fails to lift lid on industry abuses

    Fisherman’s friend? Film festival documentary fails to lift lid on industry abuses

    The following article was published by the News Lens on November 11: The Taipei International Labor Film Festival (TILFF) wrapped up on October 15 with minimal fanfare. Thanks to Covid – which saw proceedings switched to an online format – and a rather underwhelming publicity drive, this 15th installment of the two-week event slipped under […]

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  • Fictionalizing Taiwan’s White Terror (review of ‘Transitions in Taiwan’ for Taipei Times)

    Fictionalizing Taiwan’s White Terror (review of ‘Transitions in Taiwan’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Violence and oppression, we are told in the introduction to this collection of tales, are foundational to modern Taiwan, providing “a legacy that continues to influence its contemporary society.” It is interesting, then, that an anthology subtitled “Stories about the White Terror,” offers few instances of […]

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  • Taiwan’s free quarantine leaves little cause for complaint

    Taiwan’s free quarantine leaves little cause for complaint

    The following article was published in today’s Taipei Times  I’m writing this on a beachfront balcony with a spectacular ocean view. My hotel room is spotless, spacious and well-equipped. Meals are delivered to the door thrice daily, and my all-inclusive two-week stay is free. True, the beach remains tantalizingly inaccessible. But that’s the only downside […]

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  • Neither here nor there: Study casts light on aging Taiwanese migrants to the US (review of Ken Chih-Yan Sun’s ‘Time and Migration’ for Taipei Times)

    Neither here nor there: Study casts light on aging Taiwanese migrants to the US (review of Ken Chih-Yan Sun’s ‘Time and Migration’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times. With droves of Taiwanese Americans reportedly bolting stateside on “vaccine tours,” the issue of transnational healthcare opportunism is back in the public eye. If you’re wondering if that’s a real thing, well, while I believe I may have just coined the phrase, the phenomenon it describes […]

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  • Of pigs and prudery

    Of pigs and prudery

    Anyone who has lived in Taiwan long enough, or for that matter any place where they stand out in terms of appearance or culture, will probably have experienced Othering. In Taiwan, it’s rarely of the nasty, aggressive kind nor, necessarily, even of the intentionally discriminatory type– though, as I’ve made clear elsewhere, that obviously exists, […]

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  • The master of small things

    The master of small things

    The following feature appeared in today’s Taipei Times: But for a banana, I wouldn’t have met Chuang Hsin-li (莊新利). En route to the mountains of Yunlin County, I stop for sustenance at a fruit truck in Gukeng Township (古坑). It’s the second day of Lunar New Year; the vehicle is sparsely stocked: sprigs of lycees […]

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  • My animals and other family

    My animals and other family

    It sounds like a case of spectacularly misplaced priorities now, but the first thing I thought of when my then-wife and I agreed it was best for me to move out was my guinea pigs. It was early August 2014, and I’d just returned from six weeks in Latin America with my elder son. At […]

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  • Anger with focus

    Anger with focus

    The following article appeared in today’s Taipei Times:  In language that belies her cherubic appearance, Julia Mariano calls for “revolutionary rage.” She is speaking at Taipei’s Vinyl Decision bar, alongside a portrait of Bob Dylan. This is the language of protest, for sure, but rather than channeling voices from a bygone era, Mariano is demanding […]

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  • Flight of the Aztec Eagles: When Mexico bombed Taiwan

    Flight of the Aztec Eagles: When Mexico bombed Taiwan

    An abridged version of the following article appeared in yesterday’s Taipei Times:  “Stand up anyone who didn’t learn anything just now,” says Michael Hurst. Nobody moves from the seats they’ve been glued to for the past 90 minutes. “I certainly learned a whole lot,” says Hurst, director of the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society. “But […]

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