Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 02 May 2012
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 18:39

Women and Nationalism

As more foreign workers and students come to Taiwan, the role of women in nationalist narratives has undergone a shift towards conservatism, so this month we want to look at how ordinary women embrace or subvert the roles provided for them in the nationalist narratives and how these imposed roles affect the way women are imagined by men, women and the mainstream media. We first hear from a woman working in a sport to which Taiwanese attach a lot of their national pride, Liu Bojun talks about her experiences as a female baseball umpire; Witek and Zijie look behind the stereotype of the betelnut industry's betelnut girls, an image perpetuated by domestic and foreign press as a lewd representation of the "local", and see instead a devout Catholic aboriginal woman running a small family business; then Wafa Ghermani looks at the shifting modes of how Taiwanese women are represented in Taiwan's national film industry as more passive in the 2000s and 2010s in contrast to the stronger female role-models of the 1980s and 1990s; Conor has translated a short story from renowned short story writer and cultural critic, Lolita Hu, which gives us an unfamiliar perspective on the familiar scene of Western guys and Chinese girls meeting in a Beijing Night Club; the nationalist undertones that lie behind the term Xicanmei (referring to Asian girls who date Western guys) are explored in a conversation with several Taiwanese girls and a Western man, highlighting the term's function in undermining female identity; the lead singer of Taiwanese band 'The White Eyes' describes her experience as an unconventional female role model, and the fight against being side-lined as more woman than musician; Finally, Daniel has written two articles, one concerning the recent candicacy of Tsai Ing-wen for president, and the second about his perceptions of a gender imbalance in Taiwan and the reasons for this.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 17:05

Under Gods - Stories from Soho Road

On the surface it appears to be a street like any other. But when you stop to look, to really look, you can see the subtle differences. The differences that, when combined together, make this street completely different to any other. Photographer Liz Hingley takes us on a tour of one of the most religiously diverse areas in England, Soho Road in Birmingham. Through her Under Gods collection she aims to show us that coexistence between different faiths is not only possible, but is essential in today’s world. With this article we invite you to reflect on the meaning of faith and how religion does not have to be an instrument for hatred, but rather a way to bring different people together.

What I feel makes Liz’s project precious, is that her pictures do not simply record religious life of the Soho Road from a perspective of a passer-by. These pictures are a result of personal relationships of the photographer with the subjects over a sustained period of time and show us the intimate situations that would be impossible to photograph without devoting oneself wholeheartedly to the project - not as a professional, but rather as a curious person with no agenda on their mind, wishing to learn through observation and interaction. The author was accepted into homes, churches, prayer rooms etc. only after having won over trust and sympathy of the people she photographed. It is always a difficult task for a photographer and often requires spending a lot of time on discussions and casual talking before becoming “invisible” and being granted a right to enter into the private lives of the subjects and record them. Liz did her job perfectly and created a collection that shows the diversity of religions along the Soho Road, captures the unique atmosphere of religious practices and also gives the viewers an insight into emotions of the subjects’ in their private lives. It also reflects the photographer’s personal experiences, her kind nature, strong ethics and, of course, her brilliant eye and great photographic skills, as many pictures in the story are strong enough to stand alone as fine pieces of visual art.


About Liz from her webpage:

Liz graduated from Brighton University with a first class BA Honours in Editorial Photography in 2007. She went on to receive a two-year scholarship with FABRICA research and communications department in Italy. She completed an MSc with distinction in Social Anthropology at University College London in 2011. 'Under Gods’ stories from Soho road was published in March 2011 By Dewi Lewis publishing. She recently received the Getty Image Grant to continue her work raising awareness for the cycle of child poverty in the developed world. Liz is currently artist in residence at The Migration Research Unit based in University College London. She regularly works with other educational institutions; lecturing and leading workshops. Liz is undertaking her own research into the trade of religious goods in Paris and China. Liz is a member of picturetank agency and pleased to use KODAK Portra 800



Under Gods - entire photostory on Liz's website. You can also find out there about other projects undertaken by Liz Hingley

An interesting article about Under Gods at



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