The Last Days of Huaguang Village 華光社區的殞落

Tucked away in the heart of Taipei city a stone’s throw away from the tourists and concert-goers at the CKS Memorial and National Concert Hall, the Central Bank, the wedding photo studios of Aiguo West Rd., and a few blocks from the bustling crowds and delectable food in the Yongkang Street district (headlined by the original flagship restaurant of the world-famous Din Tai Fung dumpling chain), a humble community once stood. In addition to low-lying residences there was a popular breakfast shop, a roadside soup dumpling shop that gave Din Tai Fung a run for its money for far less, and a small temple. The temple was a gathering place for residents, like a de facto community center. Around the small community stretching two blocks in each direction lived people from all over China  housed here after the Nationalist government’s retreat to Taiwan – civil servants, street vendors, teachers, and soldiers living next door to local Taiwanese. Thousands of young people grew up  here, and many moved away to start families or seek better comforts, taking their memories with them.

But some stayed, either by choice or necessity. These are the people I encountered over the more than four years I spent here, making pictures of a community long forgotten, and meeting a handful of her residents.

位於台北市的核心地帶,緊鄰中正紀念堂,中央銀行,愛國西路婚紗街,信義路,和永康商圈。我不在此贅述其過去的歷史和近幾年的遭遇 - 那些Google一下就有了。總而言之,這個社區不光是國民黨來台後給軍眷居住的「眷村」,有自1947年就搬進去的台灣人,有法院的職員,也有非軍人身份隨政府來台,在這裡賣胡椒餅的老江蘇人。不分出生地或職業,

不管有沒有繳房屋稅,這些居民都是台北都會更新下的難民,在社區逐漸被拆除的幾年過程中都被迫放棄居住數十年的房屋並尋找安置的其他安排。

我是從2011年的年初開始偶爾到華光走走拍照。那時候社區不久前遭到第二次的「無名火」,以逼迫被嚇到的居民快速搬走。建築物的災情慘重,但所幸居民無傷亡。後來我開始每隔一段時間去看看,有時我是專程去,有時只是路過,有時快速通過,也有幾次在那兒逗留,跟居民一起喝湯,泡茶。通常我是一個人,但也有帶外國來的客人和攝影同好一起去。有從外表觀察,也有進入被遺棄的老房子近距離看。雖然每次去身上都帶相機,也有好幾次進入社區之後完全沒有按快門的念頭,只用眼睛看並將所見所聞存入腦海的「人肉硬碟」裡。

最近的一次拍攝是2013年的11月底。

有一次在巷子裡面走動時,一位女士從居家裡探頭出來還用非常流利的英文跟我打招呼。原來她是爲社區居民在抗爭活動和爭取合理安置的過程中扮演發言人的角色。透過這位鄭小姐的介紹,我認識了幾位還住在社區裡的老居民,又在徵求他們同意之後爲他們拍肖像。

其實,只要有人住,社區是活的。每次拍華光都在逐漸構築我眼中的社區肖像。

邱先生 台灣人。1947年搬入社區跟奶奶一起住。

Mr. Chiu
Taiwan native. Resided in Huaguang since moving in to live with grandmother in 1947.

 

Months before the dismantling of his own home, I asked Mr. Chiu to stand in the space left by the destruction of his neighbor’s home. 

 

Mr. Jiang, a native of Jiangsu, China. Neither a civil servant nor a soldier, the chaos of China’s civil war carried him to Taiwan, where he sold beef pepper cakes in the Huaguang community for decades. He remained alone in Taiwan, leaving behind three younger brothers in China and never marrying. Defiant in the face of his neighborhood’s demolition, he still hung laundry outside on the last day there. He was settled into a retirement home with the help of community advocate Judy Cheng and Taipei’s social services department.

 

余先生 台灣人。患有肺癌。和太太跟智障的大兒子居住的房子是親手打造的。政府罰他違章建築的款直接從擔任香菸公司業務員的小兒子的薪資扣除。

鄭小姐。 英文老師,社區發言人。







Fire destroyed a small block of Huaguang Village in 2011. Residents suspected arson. 2011年初華光遭人縱火,幸好沒有人傷亡。

 

 

 

 

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