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Don’t Sleep in Yancheng goes online for first time


National Sun Yat-sen University has been holding the Don’t Sleep in Yancheng festival in the streets of Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City, annually at the end of May. This year, due to the outbreak of the epidemic in Taiwan, the faculty and students went online, gathering local artists, enterprises, and community representatives from Yancheng District to launch a live streaming program under the theme of “Let's Dream Together”, inviting the public to meet online from their homes to discuss and appreciate Yancheng.

Assistant Professor Shih-Hsiang Sung of the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies (PIS) at NSYSU said that the Don’t Sleep in Yancheng festival has been held every year since 2018, and this is the fourth year. The original plan was to expand the scale of the event, but before the event was launched, the epidemic alert in Taiwan was raised to level 3 and all on-site events had to be canceled. The students and faculty did not cancel this "traditional event" of NSYSU, but instead, transferred all the on-site events of the program online in just 2 weeks.

Professor Sung said that although this year's event was affected by the epidemic, the team of faculty and students were still determined to hold the festival and hoped to make the online program as exciting as its on-site version. Don’t Sleep in Yancheng is held daily from May 29 to June 5 at 19:30 in the form of live streaming on Facebook. The live streaming program includes the opening ceremony, meetings with the representatives of the Yancheng community, local professionals, artists, and NSYSU faculty and students. Online events attracted over a hundred viewers.

The program “Dreaming in Progress" invited artists Hui-Ying Tsai, Yi-Hsien Peng, Yung-Han Ruan to discuss art with the public. "Yancheng Observer – Four Secrets of Yancheng" invited students of PIS taking the Design Culture and Anthropology course to lead the audience to uncover interesting phenomena of Yancheng. "Summer Night Drinks x Yancheng in the 1950s” program invited Ah Le – the owner of three bars in Yancheng and Cheng-Chang Shen – a local historian and doctor in Yancheng, to talk about different perspectives on Yancheng. The founder of Holycow, a food truck in Kaohsiung selling hand-made hamburgers, and the founder of Furao – an artwork vendor, will talk about the hardships of starting one’s brand during “Dreaming and Chatting at the Market”.

Professor Sung pointed out that these elements of the program include: installation art, performance art, a guided tour, and a market and that all those revolve around the main theme – “Let's Dream Together”. The students and faculty members hope that through the series of online streams, the people can understand the past of the district when people from different places would come to Yancheng to pursue their “Kaohsiung dream”. He hopes that the viewers of the online program can regain the courage to pursue their dreams.

The Don’t Sleep in Yancheng festival is organized by NSYSU USR Project: The City as a Commuseum – Socially Embedded Community Engagement, the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Humanity Innovation and Social Practice (HISP) Project’s Bay Shore Placemaking: Memory Representation and Innovative Transformation of the Transient Communities of Kaohsiung, with the artistic support of Radiant Education Foundation. Through this annual event, the organizers hope to combine the University's innovation capacity with Yancheng's old history and culture, create a new image of Yancheng by cooperating with local residents, and return the district’s former role as a trend-setter.
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