A photo-filmic essay of the Sunflower Movement

Part One: The Approach

by Trista di Genova / The Wild East

Sunday morning, March 30, 2014. I was watching television in the Pingtung countryside at the loagong‘s. I saw how the streets around the legislature were filled with what turned out to be 500,000 people.

The Laogong was visibly irritated. “Don’t worry, be happy,” tried to cheer him. This is great, bebe! After all this time, the Taiwanese people are rising up, waking up, once and for. They’re using their voice, spontaneously and collectively calling for long-denied democracy in Taiwan. Guess this dashes China’s and the KMT’s hopes for a ‘peaceful reunification’ with the Motherland, Mainland.

Hands trembling with excitement, traveled up-‘country’ via bus, posting tv news clips for my FB friends. Finally a reason to watch TV! One influential person shared the news clips, saying there a revolution is happening in Taiwan.

Yes, it’s a Sunflower Revolution

The sunflower was adopted as a symbol of the Sunflower Movement, it was described to me during a visit inside the Taiwan Legislative Yuan by a student, as “a symbol of hope” and openness to a bright future.

What does the Sunflower Movement mean? I wondered. What really happened? What are they standing for now, and are they making any demands?

And I was nearly dying to know: How did students pull off taking control over the legislature, I really, really was insanely curious about this.

It was described to me by Oliver Chen, in charge of international media contact for the students, who are camped everywhere throughout the building, sleeping on the steps, camping out, for 12 days at that point. There are friends of mine who have camped out there for days, 7 days in one case.

Stay tuned for Part II, “Inside the Sunflower-controlled legislature”.

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