In addition to concerts, this year’s event is centered around the theme, “Preserving Island Memories.” Through the event’s conferences and documentary screenings, the music and culture from both regions can be revisited and remembered. Musicians and artisans from Taiwan and Okinawa will share their experiences of using the arts to pass on tradition. This also reflects many of the issues that these indigenous singers are facing today.
Okinawan artisan Oogame Asuka said that many artists also imbue their work with elements of traditional design to preserve local culture. Asuka applies traditional weaving techniques to curtains, lampshades, pillows and other items used in daily life. She also thinks that safeguarding culture isn’t merely copying the past, but rather using current trends to enhance tradition. Lin Xiu-hui, the founder of Taitung’s Ata Cultural Workshop, is working hard to revive traditional indigenous culture. Through extensive fieldwork, Lin has retraced the meaning of traditional Bunun beadwork. Lin’s efforts have allowed glass beads to become a way for indigenous Paiwan to transmit knowledge and sustain an important medium for preserving history and culture.