Following their interest in migrant workers from Indonesia with a particular emphasis on their musical composition and performance, the Trans/Voices Project (TVP) came to study their creative world by collecting songs, studying archives, interviewing musicians, and organizing workshops. This project aimed to show how Indonesian migrant workers express their life experiences, affections, and reflections through music after moving outside their home country to pursue work in Taiwan.
With the participation of 23 Indonesian migrants with experience in music, Wu, Lan, and Sung collected and translated 64 songs, some of which are original while others are adapted and co-composed. On the basis of research on the conducted interviews, textual analysis, and field research, they organized 3 online colloquia, in which participants compared the development of Indonesian grass-root music genre “Dangdut” in Indonesia and Taiwan, and the musicians' reflections on social issues. They also took an excursion to compare other migrants' music experiences with that of Indonesian migrants This research project was later turned into a book which contains 6 essays and 64 song lyrics in both Indonesian and Chinese. In addition to giving scene reports, the essays touch on genre music, narratives, the history of ethnic groups in Taiwan and Indonesia, and marginalized people's response to their global immigration in quest of opportunities.
Trans/Voices Project is a socially-based art project focusing on the artistic experiences of migration and labor issues, especially about Indonesian migrant workers in Taiwan. While they struggle to meet their basic economic, social, and cultural needs, the project participants want to study their immigration journeys, hard labors, resolute resistance, and cultural re-creation in the host country.
Working as a cultural worker interested in Indonesian migrants, Wu Ting-Kuan conducts field research, builds archives, and initiates collaborative projects to find more about their arts and creations. While pursuing these intellectual explorations, Wu hopes to excavate the historical reality that remains hidden and then to develop new stories distinctively different from the mainstream.
Lan Yu-Chen is a cultural worker and freelance writer. Lan has worked on several cross-cultural projects, including her anthropological research on urban art activism in Bandung, Indonesia. Her latest publication is about the oral traditions and songs of Pangcah, one of the indigenous peoples in Taiwan.
Working as a writer, Sung Chia-Yu (Sally Sung) has published a few studies on migrants’ creative writing and cultural events in Taiwan and Singapore. Her writings can be found in the Reporter, the Fountain, and the Crown.