The Museum of White Terror, Taipei

The Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park and its accompanying National Human Rights Museum in Taipei are the site of the former Xindian military prison and military court for political dissidents in use during the period of “White Terror”, which marked Taiwan for over 40 years and lasted until the early 1990s. We visited this former prison now turned museum as part of the course Transnational Law taught at National Taiwan University (NTU). As a class we set out to see how we could connect the story of the museum to the theme of our course: would it be possible to view this museum as a transnational legal actor of sorts? The brief was to look around, to see what would stand out, to notice details. Students were asked to take photographs during the tour, and to select one photo that they felt captured their visit and that they would discuss afterwards. Following the discussion, they wrote down their thoughts in a short reflection, producing a postcard to accompany their picture. We posed a sequence of three questions: what do you see in the photograph; what does that mean to you; how can you connect this to transnational law?

Many thanks to all students for joining on this visit and for their photo’s and notes. Special thanks to the National Human Rights Museum for the guided tour.

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