My Biggest Challenge

I am finally getting back to going through the hours and hours of audio interviews that I've recorded with Su Beng over the years. This part of the process is undoubtedly the most challenging part of this entire project. It is time consuming, tedious and mundane- and I'll admit it, I am loathe to do it, even though I know that it has to be done. My hugest obstacle has been my own resistance to this. There is no way around it. I know that I need to just get over it, and work through it.

The hardest part is always just getting started or re-started. So I am now committing myself to sitting my a** in a chair (excuse my French) for about two hours at a time, no matter what, several times a week to listen to, translate and transcribe my interviews with Su Beng. In fact, I've already been doing this for the past couple of months. And sitting for about two hours at a time seems to work for me because I don't think I can stay sharply focused beyond two hours. It takes a great deal of focus and attention to do this kind of work, maybe even more so for me because I'm not a trained translator. Even when I've transcribed interviews that were conducted in English, it takes time. I guess I'm just not cut out to be a stenographer. Recently, I timed myself and it took me about two hours to go through 30 minutes of one of my interviews with Su Beng. That seems about right, but sometimes it can take longer. I'm going to have to time myself a couple more times to figure out what on average, I'm able to do in two hours time.  

Even after I've gone through my first listen, I often still need to work with a native Taiwanese speaker to fine tune my translation and to fill in the gaps of what I was unable to translate. It is an arduous process- the transcription and translation, but when I do get into the thick of it, I often find myself unearthing fascinating nuggets of information. That's when I'm reminded of why I'm doing this all. 

Why don't I just hand things over to a translator?

Translation I've learned, is kind of a tricky thing. I've definitely had things that I've written mistranslated, so call me a bit of a control freak on this. Translating my interviews with Su Beng involves much more than simply translating what's been said in the recording. An accurate translation would require an understanding of: 1) the reasoning behind my specific line of questioning, and 2) the context of topics discussed in the interview. The right translator would also need to have a good understanding of Taiwan's situation and history, and be able to decipher the mix of Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and sprinkling of English that Su Beng speaks.

Long ago, I decided that even though it doesn't seem very efficient to do so, I need to personally go though and do the first listen of my interviews with Su Beng. Doing the first transcription and translation of the interviews is a necessary part of my research, in a sense, because it allows me to revisit and deepen my understanding of Su Beng and the times that he's lived through. After all, writers, by the nature of what we do relive, re-learn, re-see, re-experience, and re-tell. 

For now, I need to get over the hurdle of documenting all of my research so that I can move onto the next stage which is what I'm excited about: the piecing together all of the research, and the telling the story of this man's life.

April and May updates about Su Beng

On April 3 Su Beng was on a live video conference with the University of Michigan after a screening of the documentary film, Su Beng, The Revolutionist.

Photo courtesy of: Ah-ping Yap

Photo courtesy of: Ah-ping Yap

 

On April 10th there was a book signing event for Su Beng's autobiography in Changhwa. Here's a flyer promoting it:

 

 

Album: 4/10/16 Chunghwa book signing for Su Beng's autobiography

Below is an album of photos from Su Beng's April 10th book signing event in Chunghwa. Click through to flip through the photos:

 

On April 23 Su Beng spoke in Tainan.

Photo courtesy of Julian Cheng  

Photo courtesy of Julian Cheng

 

While in Tainan, Su Beng also got on a video conference with people in Oregon.

 

On April 24 Su Beng spoke at the Backstage Cafe (後門咖啡) in Taipei.

Su Beng also stopped by the M Gallery where he visited with Nicolas Chiou, the artist who is working on illustrations for Su Beng's Illustrated 400 Years of Taiwan's History. 

 

 

On May 1 there was a book signing event for Su Beng's autobiography at the National Museum of Taiwanese History in Tainan. 

Here's a flyer that was created for the May 1 event:

Here are some photos from the May 1st event:

Later, that same day (May 1st) Su Beng also spoke here:

 

On May 7th Su Beng was in Kaohsiung at the Formosa Boulevard MRT stop for a book signing event for his autobiography.

While Su Beng was in Kaohsiung he was presented with this beautiful one of a kind wooden box made specifically for his autobiography. 

 

On May 8th Su Beng spoke in Pintung.

 

On May 14th Su Beng book signing at the 費邊社文創市集 bookstore in Taipei.

 

On May 20th Su Beng headed over to the inauguration of Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's first female president of Taiwan. What a historic moment! Su Beng was a staunch supporter of Tsai. Doesn't he look very distinguished in these photos?

Photo courtesy of Hsiengo Huang.

Photo courtesy of Hsiengo Huang.

 

On May 28th Su Beng was at Taiwan Tati to attend a ceremony unveiling a commemorative plaque to recognize the contributions of Liao Wen Yi (廖文毅). Liao established the Taiwan Democratic Party for Independence in Japan in 1950, and later set up theRepublic of Taiwan Provisional Government in Japan.

NOTE: May 28 is also a significant day because May 28, 1963 was the day that Chen Chih-hsiung (陳智雄) was executed. Chen was the first Taiwan independence activist to be executed in Taiwan and he had worked closely with Liao. To learn more about Chen Chih-hsiung, read this Taipei Times article.

February and March updates about Su Beng

On February 2nd, Su Beng spoke at the Taiwan Human Rights and Cultural Association.

 

With the arrival of the Lunar New Year, Su Beng had quite a few visitors in his home. 

In preparation of Su Beng's February 27th book release event,  he got busy signing copies of his autobiography.

 

On February 23rd, Su Beng spoke again at the Taiwan Human Rights and Cultural Association.

 

On February 25th Su Beng went to a screening of the documentary, Su Beng, The Revolutionist.

 

Su Beng's book release event for his autobiography was on February 27th.

 

 

Album: 2/27/16 Taipei Book Signing For Su Beng's autobiography

Below are some photos that you can click through from Su Beng's book release event on February 27th. Photos courtesy of Bin Hong and 吳欣怡 .

 

On February 29th Su Beng celebrated the release of his Chinese language autobiography with friends at the Howard Hotel.

 

On March 5th Su Beng was at Taiwan Tati where he was given an award in recognition of all his contributions to Taiwan.

Photo courtesy of Aries Chen

Photo courtesy of Aries Chen

 

On March 11th Su Beng spoke at the Cafe Philo in Taipei.

There was a live stream video recorded of the event, which has been posted to YouTube, and you can watch it below.

 

Also on that day (in North American Central Time), was a screening of the documentary, Su Beng, The Revolutionist organized by the University of Wisconsin's North American Taiwan Studies Association

Su Beng participated in a live chat with the group after the screening. 

 

The following day (March 12) Su Beng was in Tainan, speaking at the Harbor Side Park.

 

On March 16 Su Beng spoke at the National Chung Cheng University in Chiayi.

 

On March 18 Su Beng marked the second anniversary that the Legislative Yuan was occupied by students and activists by attending a screening of the documentary  "暴民"  The film was about the occupation of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei (on March 18) which led to the Sunflower Movement.

 

On March 22 there was another screening of Su Beng, The Revolutionist at the National Chiao Tung University in Hsin Chu.

 

On March 26, Su Beng was at Taiwan Tati in Tai Chung to do another book signing for his autobiography.

Photo courtesy of Aries Chen

Photo courtesy of Aries Chen

FTV (Formosa Television) was there to cover the event.

Su Beng being interviewed by the FTV channel.

Su Beng being interviewed by the FTV channel.

Formosa Television's coverage of Su Beng's March 26 book signing can be watched below.

 

On March 27th there was another screening of the documentary film, Su Beng, The Revolutionist in Boston and Su Beng did another live chat with the audience after the screening. 

2/27/16: Book Release Event for Su Beng's Autobiography

On February 27th at 2pm, there will be a book release event for Su Beng's autobiography.

The event will be held at the National Taiwan University Alumni Hall (No. 2-1, Jinan Road Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan), fourth floor conference room.

Here are full details of the event (in Chinese characters):

《史明回憶錄》新書發表會

日期:2016年2月27日(六)
時間:下午兩點

地點:台灣大學校友會館四樓會議室
   台北市濟南路一段2之1號

流程:

14:00-14:10 來賓入場、開場
14:10-14:30 節目表演
14:30-15:30 貴賓致詞、短講
15:30-15:50 作者 史明致詞
15:50-16:30 現場簽名(視情況調整)

主辦單位:前衛出版社
聯絡電話:02-25865708、02-25863776
聯絡人:鄭清鴻先生、林君亭先生

There will be an opening musical performance by Kou Chou Ching. And in addition to Su Beng, speakers at the event will include 吳叡人Wu Reiren (researcher at Academia Sinica), 陳儀深 Chen Yi-shen (also a researcher at Academia Sinica), 葉治平 Yeh Chin-Ping (former director of NATPA), 姚文智 Yao Wen-chin (DPP legislator) and 藍士博 Lan Shi-bo (one of the co-authors of The Oral History of Su Beng).

Here's a full description of the event that accompanies the above flyer (in Chinese characters):

【夯活動】

《史明回憶錄》新書發表會

▲日期:2016年2月27日(六)
▲時間:下午兩點

▲地點:台灣大學校友會館四樓會議室
    台北市濟南路一段2之1號

※免費入場,歡迎參加。
※現場購書簽名排隊方式另行公告。

史明回憶錄新書發表會,還有六天,眾所期待的新書發表會即將引爆台大校友會館!

除了上回小編預告的「台灣獨立革命軍」貼紙以外,當天的短講陣容也非常精彩,二二七的活動,我們邀請到幾位來賓,每一位在史明學的研究與推展上都盡了許多心力!

吳叡人老師與陳儀深老師,在台灣史研究、台灣民族主義方面將為各位讀者帶來精闢的見解。前北美洲台灣人教授協會會長葉治平教授與史明歐里桑的來往,以及由現任立委姚文智擔任製作人、陳麗貴女士導演的《革命進行式》史明紀錄片,都是認識史明、傳承史明的重要拼圖!

而回憶錄之前,由「史明口述史」小組打頭陣所推出的三本套書榮獲金鼎獎非文學類圖書的肯定,我們也邀請口述史的核心人物藍士博先生到現場分享。

除了短講之外,我們還請到拷秋勤主唱魚仔林當天帶來熱力開場!這麼精彩的活動,堪比國際書展的陣容,錯過就只能槌心肝了啦~

歡迎大家進入活動連結,掌握最新的活動訊息

January updates about Su Beng

After Su Beng was discharged from the hospital on December 28th he had a number of visitors at his home, who were there to help him ring in the new year.

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

On January 2nd Su Beng had a tang yuan (湯圓) i.e. sweet rice dumpling making party at his home. In Taiwan it is traditional to celebrate the first day of winter by making and eating sweet rice dumplings. 

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 許文輔

Photo courtesy of 許文輔

Photo courtesy of 許文輔

Photo courtesy of 許文輔

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

In early January the DVD version of the documentary film Su Beng, the Revolutionist was released.

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

January 21: Despite getting a black eye due to some anticoagulant that Su Beng has been taking, he's been getting back into his exercise routine. 

Above photos courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page

 

Su Beng also had a gathering with several old friends.

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

On January 23rd, Su Beng hosted an end of Lunar New Year event to thank his supporters, by making and eating lun pian (aka lumpia or lunbian), which is a sort of Taiwanese summer roll.

There's a large variety of ingredients used as filling for lun pian, as you can see fom the spread on the table in the photo below.

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Here's what a rolled lun pian looks like.

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

There was lots of merriment.

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

And Su Beng was asked to sign copies of his autobiography.

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 張瑜庭   

Photo courtesy of 張瑜庭   

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

Photo courtesy of 吳欣怡

On January 26th Su Beng had dinner with supporters and friends of The Taiwan Independence Association.

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

Photo courtesy of Su Beng's Facebook page 

On January 30th at 3pm, the 2016 Hong Kong Independent Film Festival screened the documentary film, Su Beng, the Revolutionist. Director Lihkuei Chen was at the screening to participate in a Q&A with the audience. 

Some words from Su Beng regarding 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen being elected President of Taiwan

I FINALLY figured out how to share a Facebook video to my blog about Su Beng here! What a HUGE sense of accomplishment.

So here it is, albeit a bit belated-- a video that Su Beng posted to his Facebook page after the recent Presidential election in Taiwan (January 16, 2016), in which  蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen was elected the next President of Taiwan. I had initially shared it on my Facebook page, The Story of Su Beng, which is dedicated my project to document the life of Su Beng. My English translation of what Su Beng said in the video appears below:

 Click on this link or on the image below to watch the video:

Congratulations to Tsai Ing-wen on winning the Presidential election. If Tsai Ing-wen did not win, Taiwan would be headed for trouble because if the Kuomintang continued to rule and to allow the Chinese Communists to infiltrate Taiwan, as they have done with the minority groups in China, then the Taiwanese would not have a future. What is the Taiwanese people’s future? That Taiwanese can be the masters of their nation (and determine their own fate). By electing Tsai Ing-wen, we have hope. Going forward, now that Tsai Ing-wen has been elected it doesn’t mean that Taiwan is independent, if the people of Taiwan do not work together in solidarity, if they do not work toward independence for Taiwan then Taiwan will not be a future. Besides working together everyone needs to support Tsai Ing-wen to improve Taiwan. Let’s all work hard for this.

2/8/16 Happy Lunar New Year of the Monkey

HAPPY LUNAR New Year of the Monkey everyone! Look what arrived in the mail for me from Su Beng, just in time for the Lunar New Year- a signed copy of his autobiography. 謝謝 O-ji-san! 新年快樂 May the new year be full of great abundance and possibilities!

Stay tuned for more updates.

1/16/16 Tsai Ing-wen elected as the next President of Taiwan

What an incredible moment in history! Taiwan will soon have a female President. Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) received 6.9 million votes, around 56% of the total. Her opponent, Kuomintang candidate Eric Chu got 3.8 million votes. or around 31%. 

Dr. Tsai mentioned Su Beng at the end one of her speeches after winning the election, and this picture is worth a thousand words, especially on this day that Tsai Ing-wen has been elected as the next President of Taiwan.

Photo courtesy of: 劉建華

Photo courtesy of: 劉建華

There have been so many historic moments along the way, including Su Beng's first visit to the Democratic Progressive Party's headquarters in June 2014  where he met with Tsai Ing-wen and personally introduced her to me.

A year later Tsai Ing-wen spoke in New York in June 2015. Special thanks to all of my friends who attended Tsai Ing-wen's speech in New York. Thank you for your support. And a HUGE thanks to EVERYONE who has been working so hard for Taiwan. I couldn't possibly name everyone! Here's to Taiwan's new political path!

10425379_10155671979715603_953135782070588394_n.jpg

1/15/16 Su Beng at a rally for DPP Presidential candidate Dr. Tsai Ing-wen

Of course Su Beng was at a rally for Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, the day before the Presidential elections in Taiwan, which will take place 1/16/16.

For LIVE English coverage of the Presidential election in Taiwan this Saturday, tune in to ICRT's special Taiwan election coverage!

Time: Sat. 1/16, 4pm to 9pm
Place: Taipei 100.7FM, or listen online at http://www.icrt.com.tw/icrt_channel.php
http://www.icrt.com.tw/info_details.php…