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Publishing Practices in Taiwan’s Civil Society: Tò-uat's Selection of Books for 2023 Frankfurter Buchmesse

In Taiwan, independent bookstores frequently collaborate with various advocacy NGOs. Alongside distributing their published works, they often co-host various events such as book launches and lectures. This year, Tò-uat has established a dedicated section within the Taiwan Pavilion titled 'Publishing Practices in Taiwan’s Civil Society,' showcasing books released by Taiwanese advocacy NGOs. These publications address significant societal issues in Taiwan over the past decades, encompassing topics like the death penalty, housing problems, workers' rights, immigrants’ rights, government expropriation, wage disparities, population decline, sexual harassment/abuse, and the White Terror period.

About Tò-uat BooksLocated at Taipei, founded in 2016, Tò-uat Books stands as a beacon for social change, operated collaboratively by a group of dedicated NGO activists. Despite the publishing industry in Taiwan experiencing a significant downturn over the last decade, compounded by a three-year recession due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have survived. Tò-uat Books believes in the power of reading. Our primary concerns revolve around labor rights, gender equality, advocacy for the marginalized, as well as fostering local Taiwanese consciousness and championing our sovereign independence. Situated on the grounds that once housed the Military Detention Center of the Military Justice Department in the Garrison Command that imprisoned and tortured political prisoners in the time of martial law, we want to remind visitors of the fact that Taiwan is not far away from the threat to human rights.

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The Difficulty of Slaughter

Since Minister Wang Qingfeng's resignation, the 2010 death penalty issue surged, swaying media and public views. Through author interviews, hidden stories of death row executions emerge, revealing Taiwan's judicial flaws. The book prompts deep contemplation of violence for control, offering diverse perspectives on life's value.

Publisher: Flâneur Culture Lab
Contact: Yizheng Zhou


The Island of No Residence: A Way Out of Justice for the Generations of Taiwanese Youth

Builders driving economic growth, a government lacking comprehensive housing policies, and public focus on real estate speculation shaped Taiwan's high housing costs. This book reexamines a 30-year housing movement, prompting reflection on homes' essence. It dissects housing price origins, explores myths, and aims to untangle commodification challenges.

Publisher: Acropolis, An imprint of Walkers Cultural Enterprise

Contact:Shih Hang Hung

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Refuse to Be Forgotten: the Oral History of RCA Workers

In 1983, a congressman revealed Radio Company of America's toxic waste dumping in Taoyuan, Taiwan, exposing how neglecting employees' health for profit caused years of suffering. This book chronicles RCA workers' stories and their legal battles aided by the Workers' Injury Association.

Publisher: Flâneur Culture Lab

Contact: Yizheng Zhou


Our Stories: Migration and Labor in Taiwan

This book faithfully presents and documents the stories of Filipino migrant workers in Taiwan. Author Yu-Ling Ku, deeply engaged in the labour movement, has observed laborers and migrants for over 15 years. The book showcases vivid lives, skillfully narrated with balanced emotion, earning its distinctiveness and the Literary Annuity award at the Taipei Literary Award.

Publisher: INK Literary Monthly Publishing

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Clay: Wanbao, a brief history of people and land

Between 1995 and 2011, in Miaoli County, the village of Wanbao, with over 400 households, effectively resisted land expropriation twice. Centered on Wanbao's fields, the author chronicles the 16-year struggle, vividly portraying the villagers' emotions, tracing their family history, and scrutinizing Taiwan's land policy development through an agricultural lens.

Publisher: Acropolis, An imprint of Walkers Cultural Enterprise

Contact:Shih Hang Hung


More than a house: New relationships for urban living in social housing

What's the status of communal housing in Taiwan? This book unveils social housing's realm, depicting Taipei residents navigating life amidst environmental and social hurdles. The author employs interviews to showcase achievements, limitations, and parallels with East Asian and European nations, engaging with Taiwan's present and envisioning future possibilities.

Publisher: Rive Gauche

Contact: Fiona Lin

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When Labor Hires Capital: Overturning Capitalism with ’’Economic Democracy’’

To free labour from capital's grip, the author contends that enterprises must shift from minority-controlled capital to labour-based joint ownership. This empowers workers to shape decisions and distributions, fostering cooperative business culture, meeting wider societal needs - the essence of "economic democracy".

Publisher: Society Rebuilding - Taiwan Labor Front.



Generation of Collapse: Crises of Capital Monopoly, Poverty, and the Lowest Fertility in Taiwan

Amidst alarming trends - high unemployment, wealth gap, population decline, and more - present data suggests Taiwan could face such crises by 2030. For fellow concerned activists and scholars, this book presents evidence, spurs brainstorming, and urges policy planning to rescue Taiwan. This is the pivotal moment to shape Taiwan's future.

Award: 2012 Golden Tripod Awards.

Publisher: Society Rebuilding - Taiwan Labor Front.


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Anti-Forced Eviction Handbook

Focusing on five institutional causes—land expropriation, urban rezoning, urban renewal, informal settlements, and homelessness—this book delves into their origins and proactive solutions. It aims to empower those involved in relocations, workers aiding cases, system researchers, and the public with essential information and self-defense strategies.

Publisher: New Sharing Culture



Taiwan's Calendar of Law: Today in Legal History

Today in history, what legal events happened in Taiwan that changed you and me, shook the past, and created the future? History makes us reflect, and law guides us to look forward. Open the legal calendar, let us travel through history and return to the legal scene.

Publisher: The Commercial Press

Contact: Elena Weng

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Silent Island: Sexual Harrasment Events in Campus

On campus, teachers who sexually abuse students are regarded as a secret that cannot be revealed. The author, Chao-Ju Chen, employs reportage to depict the hushed anguish and concealed transgressions our island once bore. Such occurrences should not be muffled.

Publisher: Humanistic Education Foundation

Contact: Yun-Hsiu LEE


The Starting Point of the Giant Wave - Anthology of Records on the 30th Anniversary of the Lukang Anti-DuPont Movement

The 1986 Lukang anti-DuPont movement is widely acknowledged as the catalyst for Taiwan's 1980s social activism, leaving a deep impact post-martial law. The book gathers accounts, recollections, and insights from Lukang residents, youth, students, media, scholars, and experts, along with relevant literature.

Publisher: Renjian Public

Contact: Kang-kai Fan

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Radical 1949: The White Terror "Post and Telecommunications Case" Documentary

This book examines historical sources, interviewing numerous victims of the 1950 white terror among post and telecommunications workers in Taiwan. It resurrects their publication "Wild Grass," delving into post-war laborers' distress and dissent, highlighting their fervent resistance. The book unveils Taiwan's white terror truth and contemplates contemporary transitional justice.

Publisher: Horizon

Contact: Belle Huang


CRPD Focus: 15 Key Lectures to Know the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is the first core human rights convention adopted by the United Nations General Assembly since the millennium. The "CRPD Sunday" column, a collaboration between Covenants Watch and Taiwan International Medical Alliance, elucidates its crucial concepts to the public. 

Publisher: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


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The Defense Attorney of Bachimeng

In Keelung's Bachimen, Taiwan, the Ami captain's family is slain, implicating an Indonesian fisherman. An Ami tribe defense counsel returns the hometown, facing hostile villagers. He needs to collaborate with an Indonesian caregiver, bridging racial and linguistic divides, to uncover hidden truth within a deadline.

Publisher: Mirror Fiction


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