The presidential elections in Taiwan will be held on January 11, 2020 and, in order to encourage participation, Taiwanese netizens have launched a poster design contest through the #GraphicDesignForDemocracy label (graphic design for democracy) .
Through the posters, people have the opportunity to learn more about the political history of the country and the importance of democracy for the Taiwanese people, who lived under martial law (1949-1987) and white terror (1947- 1990) for more than 40 years under the Government of the Republic of China, headed by the Kuomingtang, who fled to the island of Taiwan after being defeated in 1949 by the Chinese Communist Party (PCC) in the Chinese Civil War.
The Taiwanese recently achieved their right to vote for the Legislative Yuan in 1992, and for the president in 1996, after decades of struggle under the military dictatorship.
The presidential post for the year 2020 will be contested by the current president Tsai Ing-wen of the Progressive Democratic Party (DPP), who is running for a second term, and Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomingtang (KMT), who looks forward to the Controversial Consensus of a single China.
The organizers began publishing the posters received on December 22. Below are five posters that illustrate Taiwanese aspirations for democracy.
Vote for democracy, by Fan Gang-Hsin (范 綱 燊)
Fan's poster is a 1989 photo composition, a year marked by mass protests in favor of democracy. The designer was born in 1989.
Fan attached an explanation to his poster:
1989 年 出生 的 你 我 ， 今年 30 歲。
那 年 ， 世界 的 民主 自由 浪潮 開啟 了 新 的 一頁。
我們 的 鄭南榕 前輩 ， 為了 爭取 百分之百 的 言論自由 ， 遭到 國民黨 侯友宜 警官 圍困 ， 最後 拒捕 自焚 明志。 同年 ， 義士 詹益樺 用 同樣 的 方式 ， 追隨 了 南 榕 前輩 的 身影。
在 中國 ， 數以萬計 的 人民 於 天安門廣場 和平 集會 ， 爭取 ， 期望 能 有 更 開放 自由 的 社會。 卻被 步槍 子彈 坦克 刺刀 無情 輾 碎。
阻擋 人民 投奔 自由 的 柏林 圍牆 倒塌 ， 東歐 民主化 浪潮 席捲 而來。 冷戰。 ， 蘇聯 解體。 世界 開始 迎來 新 的 一波 民主改革。
我們 的 民主 還不 成熟 ， 還很 脆弱。
敵人 不再 是 槍砲 坦克 ， 變成 了 謊言 、 欺騙 、 傷害 我們 得來不易 的 今天。 而 我們 手中 的 每 一張 選票 ， 都是 我們 對抗 反民主 自由 者 最大 的 武器。
2020.01.11 – Go VOTE
You and I were born in 1989 and this year we turn 30.
The year 1989 marked a new stage in the global struggle for freedom and democracy.
April 7, 1989
Our predecessor Cheng Nan-jung set himself on fire when police tried to forcefully enter his office to arrest him. He sacrificed his life for freedom of expression. That same year, Chan I-hua followed in his footsteps.
June 4, 1989
In China, thousands of people gathered in Tiananmen Square to demand a more open and free society, but they were repressed by tanks and weapons.
November 9, 1989
The Berlin Wall that blocked the freedom of the population fell. A new wave of democratic movements began in Eastern Europe. The Cold War ended and the Soviet Union disintegrated. A new stage of democratic reforms in the world was opened.
Today, our democracy is not yet mature, it is still very fragile.
The enemy no longer uses weapons or tanks, but lies and manipulation to divide us, to undermine what we have fought for. Our vote is the strongest weapon to resist against the enemy of freedom and democracy.
11.01.2020 – Go out to vote.
2. Vote for hope, by Lin Pin-Hsien
For Lin, the ballot is like the polar star that brings hope:
This is the designer's message:
希望 ， 從來 不 應該 是以 歧視 謾罵 ， 低俗 的 話語 為 出發 點 ， 也不 該 被 亂 用 淪為 信口開河 ， 滿口 胡言 的 代名詞。 希望 是 不論 在 怎樣 艱難 與 不安 的 情況 下 ， 永遠 指引 我們 方向 的 北極星。希望 是 儘管 面臨 強大 的 挑戰 與 壓力 之下 ， 確保 我們 依然 能 的 指標。 真正 的 希望 ， 從來 就 不能 輕易 得到 ， 但 現在 ， 我們 能用 一種 簡單 的 方式 去 爭取。
Hope has nothing to do with discrediting and should not be used as an empty political rhetoric. Hope is the polar star that guides us through difficulties and adversity. It is the consciousness that helps us make difficult decisions. Hope is very valuable, but now what we have to do is very simple.
Vote for Taiwan from Shi Su (石 蘇)
Shi Su's poster includes tens of thousands of words taken from news about political incidents highlighted in Taiwan's struggle for democracy since 1947.
Among the news that Shi Su chose are:
The “incident 228” that took place on February 28, 1947. A team from the Tobacco Monopoly Office in Taipei violently confiscated the smuggled cigarettes of a 40-year-old widow. The incident triggered a protest and brutal repression that caused the deaths of thousands of civilians and the beginning of the era of “white terror.”
The “Zhongli incident” that took place on November 26, 1977, when 10,000 people protested against fraud in local elections, which resulted in police repression.
The Formosa magazine incident, also known as the Kaohsiung incident, on December 10, 1979, where the KMT military police raided protesters who were gathering to commemorate International Human Rights Day.
The “May 19 Green Action” in 1986, which marked the beginning of a movement calling for the end of martial law in Taiwan.
The “Taoyuan Airport Incident”, where thousands of DDP supporters gathered at the airport to welcome the opposition political leader Hsu Hsin-liang to Taiwan after years in exile.
The “Wild Lily student movement” from March 16 to 22, 1990, in which tens of thousands of students gathered in the Freedom Square of Taipei to demand universal suffrage for the president and vice president of the country.
The first presidential elections of March 23, 1996.
Train back home or to the concentration camp? Anmy Shine
As many voters have to travel to their hometown to vote, Anmy Shine used the high-speed train as a backdrop for her poster.
The designer also suggested that the ballot means for the voter a choice between the protection of their homeland or the transfer to China's authoritarian model:
乘 上 回家 投票 的 車
或 送往 集中營 的 列車
A train for you to come home to vote
or a train to take you to the concentration camp
In 1992, the KMT signed the China-only Consensus with China and Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly pointed out that Hong Kong's “one country, two systems” model would apply to Taiwan.
Freedom does not eat, Yun Zon Zen
“What is freedom for? It's not rice and you can't eat! ” Thus says a common saying among the elderly of Chinese society, since they believe that stability and prosperity are more important than democracy and freedom. Yun Zon Zen says freedom cannot be eaten with a bowl of rice and stresses that the bowl can protect people from swine flu, organ collection, patriotic education and reeducation camps.