The Political Theater
Chang Ching Su
The Political Theater was my attempt to investigate how far political parties would go to secure their votes. Voting is the most direct means for citizens to shape their desired societies. Despite the ubiquity of campaigns across nations, Taiwanese versions are unique in their extravagance and dramatic discourses. This resulted from both the recency of the island-nation’s democratic transition and its high population density. Just like the island’s famous 7-11 stores, political parties also provide convenience services. They offer door-to-door shuttle services and free lunch-box meals for their events, which average, otherwise bored citizens gladly accept to spice up their lives.
On the other demographic end, the younger generations are indifferent, and even distrustful of politics. The above observations and my own experience photographing political rallies in 2018 inspired me to work on this series. My objective is to fill in the space between rational theories and messier realities. I was physically present throughout the campaigns, but had always felt detached—almost like an observer. This is also the perspective from which I framed my images, and I believe this to be closer to a rational participant’s experience. I hope to elicit from viewers of the series, the same wry facial expression I had then.