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Survival and healing: former so-called „comfort women“
Screening of the documentary „The Song of the Reed“ & discussion

Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 18:30
C3 – Centrum für Internationale Entwicklung, Alois Wagner Saal, Sensengasse 3, 1090 Wien

Veranstaltungsbericht (pdf)

  • Screening of the documentary film: „The Song of the Reed“ (2015, 76 min, English subtitles)
  • Introduction to the non-governmental organization Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation and their „Ama Museum“ project
  • Discussion with Wu Hsiu-Ching, director of „The Song of the Reed,“ and sinologist Astrid Lipinsky

The acclaimed Taiwanese documentary „The Song of the Reed“ chronicles the later years of six of the estimated 2,000 Taiwanese women who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II. The film, three years in the making, was released in 2015, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the end of the Sino-Japanese war. Its topic is also unfortunately all too current, as it addresses systematic violence against women and the organized mass rapes still taking place in wars worldwide.

The film shows how six of the “comfort women” in Taiwan managed to overcome grave physical and mental trauma and develop positive attitudes toward life over the years, while Japan refused to acknowledge the crime and pay compensation. Over decades, the process was facilitated by the women's NGO Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation.

The Foundation is currently working on establishing a „comfort women“ museum in Taiwan, and actively collecting funds for this effort. The museum will preserve for future generations the story of the „comfort women,“ and present their survival strategies, independent of as well as related to Japan, where they went to court in 1999, but lost in 2005.

"Song of the Reed" was produced by the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation and directed by Wu Hsiu-ching, an assistant professor at National Taiwan University of Arts. The film has been shown across Taiwan, as well as in New York, and in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan. In 2014 it won the Best Anthropology Concern Award at the International Gold Panda Awards for Documentary in Chengdu, China.

Event on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Afterwards we invite to refreshments.

The venue can be reached by ramp and lift.

Frauen*solidarität in cooperation with Vienna Center for Taiwan StudiesAmnesty Netzwerk Frauenrechte and FrauenFilmTage

Weiterer Bericht in Spanisch (Paola Pérez)