A collection of reportage images covering social movements, political rallies and cultural events.

People gather in Bristol, dressed up in halloween costumes attending the city's annual Zombie Walk, 2012.

Since 2007, it has become tradition that on the last Saturday of October people join together in scary zombie costumes and make-up, to stagger around Bristol city centre. Amongst the hordes were zombie penguins, grisly nuns and dead politicians. Attendees creepily crawled around the city, spooking all the living with their freakish looks and gruelish growls. Bus passengers found themselves behind blood-splattered windows as the united dead smeared the mess from their horrific (fake) head wounds. Eyes were seen hanging out of sockets as shuffling corpses meandered past shoppers in the high street.

Supporters of the Kuomintang Political Party candidate, Han Kuo-yu at a rally in Taipei, 2020

Han Kuo-yu supporters turned up in their thousands for the last rally in Taipei before the election this weekend. The Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate has had a rise to political stardom and ramped up many ardent fans with his campaigns on bringing economic prosperity. Han’s voters are typically older generations and many young people are concerned of his nostalgia towards an era of martial law and the closer economic and political relations he proposes to have with China than Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party.

The crowds gathered waving red, white and blue KMT flags, decked out in KMT hats, T-shirts and temporary face tattoos.

Voters aged between 40-49 form the largest group in Taiwan elections, making Han Kuo-yu a worry to many young people. Youth have been active on social media calling for their peers to return home this weekend to vote in this presidential election. Taiwan does not permit absentee voting, meaning all votes must be cast inside the city of their registered home. For many young people living in Taipei this means having to flee the capital back to their childhood home to cast their vote.

A KMT advisor estimates that the turnout for voters returning from overseas, particularly from the U.S., is about 20,000 for Han Kuo-yu’s party. Although expatriate Taiwanese votes are not likely to sway the election, local KMT supporters say they are inspired by the dedication of those who have travelled halfway around the world to vote.

Over 130,000 people marched in Taipei’s annual LGBTQIA+ Pride Parade, one of the oldest and largest pride parades in Asia, 2020.

With Taiwan going over 200 days since its last reported local case of Covid-19 and therefore being able to avoid any nationwide lockdowns during the pandemic, this year’s parade in Taipei is being reported as the only full-scale pride parade to take place in 2020.

Attendees brandished rainbow flags and sported flamboyant costumes as they paraded around Taipei city centre, being led by drags queens waving from this years main sponsors Tinder float.

Black Lives Matter Solidarity Rally held in Taipei after the death of George Floyd, 2020

African Americans in Taiwan held a rally in Taipei to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But the gathering was more than just raising awareness of systemic racism in the US; it was also a chance to address discrimination in Taiwan, with the organisers hoping to change stereotypes about black and brown people here in Asia too.

The organisers, Black Lives Solidarity Global Initiative, sought to connect racial issues in America to local issues in Taiwan. With Taiwanese Indigenous rights advocates being invited to speak about the racist prejudice they face across the island.

The rally asked people to look at their own prejudices and learn more about the plight of marginalised people around the world, while calling for a society-wide change.

Taiwanese show solidarity with Hong Kong protestors, 2019

As tensions in Hong Kong escalate, rallies are being held in Taiwan to stand in solidarity with student protesters and show their support for their slogan “Five demands, not one less.” 

People gathered holding candles mourning those killed, missing and injured, as well as sharing their opposed views to the “one China” framework. Hong Kong citizens stood during the rally wearing masks to protect their identity holding flags written ‘Hong Kong Independence’ and "Free Hong Kong, Revolution Now."

Some are also calling on the Taiwanese government to do more to pass legislation to protect asylum seekers from Hong Kong and Macau. With many attendees believing that supporting Hong Kong is supporting Taiwan and it's freedom.

Lam Wing-kee, the owner of Hong Kong book store Causeway Bay Books, fled to Taiwan and opens a new bookstore, 2020.

A pro-democracy Hong Kong bookseller, who previously had been detained by Chinese authorities for selling texts critical of the Chinese Communist Party, opened a new bookstore in Taipei today. Lam Wing-kee, the former owner of Hong Kong's Causeway Bay Books, was one of five booksellers detained in 2015, taken across the border and put into Chinese custody for more than 400 days. In 2016, he was released on bail and allowed to return to Hong Kong to recover information about his customers stored on a computer, he refused to cooperate and his bookstore was forced to close. In 2019, he fled to Taiwan due to fear of being sent back to China under the proposed extradition bill.

The opening came days after Lam was attacked by a masked man throwing red paint at Lam Wing-kee while he sat in a coffee shop. The red paint is still seen stained in his hair at the store opening.

Lam encourages Hong Kong protestors who think their safety is at risk to leave Hong Kong and come to Taiwan to continue their resistance efforts from outside the city.

Flags hang in his store with slogans "Free Hong Kong, revolution now" and "Taiwan Independence" showing symbol to democracy and freedom in Taiwan.

Animal activists protest outside a Burger King branch in Taipei, calling for them to stop using eggs from caged-hens, 2020. 

The Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) gathered on Wednesday, October 28th, outside a Burger King store in Taipei to issue an invitation to the fast-food chain to join the cage-free movement.

The protestors stood outside the NTNU Burger King store dressed in chicken outfits, holding placards, and danced to the tune of the Super Mario Bros theme song.

“This is the perfect opportunity for Burger King to outdo McDonald’s and show consumers its commitment to socially responsible business.” Fang Chu Chune, EAST’s campaign researcher shouted out to the public on the megaphone. “We hope Burger King takes this opportunity to outdo its longtime rival McDonald’s, who has steadfastly refused to make a cage-free commitment in Taiwan.”

The action was followed by Burger King’s store manager greeting the activists outside the store, handing the Deputy Chief Executive of EAST, Chen Yu-Min a document reading that Burger King will take the cage-free invitation into consideration. Declaring a willingness to support the chain through its transition, Chen remarked, “We invite Burger King to demonstrate the young, rebellious spirit encapsulated by its brand worldwide, and lead the charge towards a future free of cages.”

To complete the action, the hens strutted inside the Burger King to each order an Americano and sit amongst the fast-food chain’s customers, placing their placards on the wall to display their messages.

EAST’s action is part of an international campaign calling on Burger King’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International, to issue a global cage-free policy.

Across the world, billions of chickens are living behind bars, in cramped, unhygienic, and unnatural conditions for their entire lives. Cages confine and restrict, resulting in the birds being unable to turn around to groom themselves, to spread their wings, or sleep in a comfortable position.

With the birds packed in cages so tight, their body parts often become damaged and deformed. By living in painful and stressful conditions, the bird’s immune system weakens, making the intense crowding and dirty conditions, an environment perfect for fostering and spreading disease.

The international caged-egg campaign led by the Open Wing Alliance calls for companies to commit to a global cage-free policy. This means asking businesses to switch their supply chain to cage-free farming, which typically means barn or free range systems. In cage-free farms chickens can walk around, spread their wings and lay eggs in nests. Not only is this healthier for the animals’ welfare but it is also safer for people consuming the eggs, as this decreases the chances of the eggs carrying bacteria that make people sick.

So far there are 84 animal groups across the world who have joined the cage-free campaign. As governments, companies and consumers become aware of these cruel and dangerous conditions for animals, globally hundreds of businesses have announced a commitment to transition and to eliminate caged eggs from their supply chains.

Carrefour Taiwan became the first retailer in Asia to release a cage-free commitment, aiming to go completely cage-free by 2025 and already seeing an increase to 17% in their stores with customers purchasing cage-free products. Subway has also pledged similarly, with plans to switch more than 1,000 restaurants to cage-free across Asia in the next 5 years.

However, Burger King’s commitment currently falls short in Asia. To date, the fast-food chain has committed to stop sourcing caged-eggs in their North and Latin American branches, and completed the transition in Australia and New Zealand. Yet they still have a long way to go to ensure that their Asian market isn’t eating eggs from hens kept in cages. Tony Huang, General Manager of Burger King in Taiwan, previously stated that it is “Absolutely the social responsibility of companies to provide safe and healthy food for consumers”. But still, the Taiwan market is waiting for a policy that includes Taiwan’s franchises in the elimination of using caged-eggs.

With cage-free production on the rise in Taiwan, EAST and other animal welfare groups are hoping to raise awareness not only to companies but also drive consumers to demand cage-free eggs.

Published by New Bloom

Taiwan celebrates the Ghost Festival in Keelung by burning offerings to their Gods in the sea