Taipei Citizens’ Manifesto of Culture
(English Translated by C. J. Anderson Wu)
- As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei City should outline its cultural subjectivity; the cultural vision and blueprint of the Mayor should be clearly stated.
- We believe that culture right is not a luxury, and the city governance is beyond simply serving the citizens’ basic human right, or rights of political participation and economic activities. It requires the embodiment of the cultural right of the public, which covers the entire population, from the majority to indigenous peoples and immigrants, among other minorities groups.
- We have perceived that public engagement in cultural policy-making is increasingly crucial in democracy. Taipei City should build a dialogic platform for a civil society and maintain a self-sustaining public sphere concerning cultural affairs.
- We are convinced that Taipei City, as the capital of Taiwan, is to guard the freedom of speech; especially free expressions and diversity of arts. Even highly critical comments or disturbing art activities are to be tolerated and defended.
- Cultural autonomy of each community in Taipei City should be respected. A community is given full autonomy to express its cultural awareness. We have no doubt that Taipei City has the determination to preserve material and immaterial cultural assets and will actively apply policies among other means to safeguard the collective memory and cultural legacy of Taipei City.
- We have the belief that culture is prior to any economic development of a city, thus integrated cultural impact assessments should be conducted before major policies are made.
- Autonomous-governing measures on culture should be implemented by Taipei Municipal Government. Cultural subjectivity should never be compromised during an economic policy is formulating. In stimulating creative economy or cultural service industry, local businesses should be favored in order to assure the public a locally diversified lifestyle.
- We urge Taipei City to adopt policies that have the minimum intervention of cultural affairs and maximal capacity to incorporate the role of every bureaucratic department. Taipei City also should assist the public to activate its monitoring mechanism with the mentality of cultural autonomy.
To fulfill the objectives above, we ask candidates running for the Mayor of Taipei City to sign on our petition for:
- Enacting an Ordinance of Autonomous-governance on Culture. Taipei City Government should collect public opinions and enact the Ordinance within two years to establish the principles of cultural autonomy and ordain the following affairs:
- Expanding public engagement in cultural policy-making by calling for Cultural Congress of Taipei City every two years. Short term, mid-term and long-term strategies, policies and directions should be proposed and fully discussed in the Congress;
- Conducting an Investigation on Cultural Right of Taipei City every two years and establishing administrative and judiciary channels for remedy had people’s cultural right been violated .The cultural right of indigenous peoples and immigrants among other minorities groups should be included in this investigation accordingly;
- Fairly distributing art-cultural resources. Setting up a professional agency at an Arm’s Length to allocate available cultural resources in order not to silent the opinions of creators who are in need of the resources such as exhibiting venues and performing spaces;
- Effectively preserving urban cultural assets. Enacting or amending laws, statues and regulations regarding cultural heritage preservation within one year to secure material and immaterial cultural heritage in Taipei City from any possible harm caused by commercial projects;
- Ensuring communities’ cultural autonomy with a flexible administration. Defining the cultural competences for communities and districts in Taipei City hence a flexible, coordinated cultural governance will take shape without compromising local cultural autonomy and diversity;
- Establishing an impartial machinery for Integrated Cultural Impact Assessment (ICIA) and setting up the Culture Council of Taipei City Before formulating a policy, laws and urban planning, an independent ICIA evaluation should be conducted and publicized. The Mayor should host the Culture Council twice a year and convene with department chiefs, scholars, researchers, artists or art practitioners among other professionals to interchange views regarding major decisions over cultural affairs; and
- Developing a non-governmental monitoring mechanism for cultural policy. Taipei City is obliged to impregnate an independent third party to monitor and assess the ICIA, the operation of the Culture Council of Taipei City, and the distribution of art resources by the aforementioned agency, among other cultural matters.