The Ke Qi-hua House is one of Kaohsiung’s most representative human rights attractions. In order to promote democracy and deepen the people’s understanding of its value, the Kaohsiung Museum of History produced the drama “A Walk through Utopia,” which recaptures the tense atmosphere of the days when Taiwan was under martial law, when scores of victims of the White Terror were faced with deadly threats, torture and separation from their families. Through the intensity of the drama, we hope to highlight the value of human rights, to strike a chord with the masses, as well as inspire them to reflect upon the history of human rights in Taiwan andfollow its development in the future.
The Form of the Drama
The narrative of the drama was adapted from Ke’s biography Taiwan as a Prison Island. Through immersive theater, the drama allows only one personat a time to watch and play a role in the drama. By having a dialogue and interacting with the actors in the show, the audience member develops a deeper understanding of Ke’s experience in the White Terror, such experiences as false accusations, torture, imprisonment, and final release from these sufferings.
Name of the Drama
After Ke was released upon the completion of his sentence, he began dedicating hisenergies to safeguarding Taiwan’s local culture and championing the cause of freedom and democracy. He voiced his support for freedom in Taiwan through different forms of literature, including short stories, poems, and political commentaries. In fact, it was the name of one of Ke’s poems,“I Can’t Travel in Wonderland,” that inspired the name of this drama, “A Walk through Utopia.”
I Can’t Travel in Wonderland
I’ve heard a hundred times flowery speeches
I’ve watched a hundred plus one enchanting shows
Isn’t it time to move on and travel in wonderland?
I don’t remember,over the decades, how many lashes I’ve endured
Just because I insisted that this is the place I call home
Just because I refused to be a snitch
I gritted my teeth and swallowed
My scalding tears
Yet the intolerable pain that was inflicted to my flesh
The unbearable humiliation that crushed my heart
And the blood on the floor I saw with my own eyes
Were like something from yesterday
It still hurts so deeply
That I can never travel in the Utopia of my dreams