Return to Innocence – The Taiwanese Amis and the Work to Return, Recover and Reclaim their Heritage

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Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Saturday, March 4, 20176:00PM - 9:00PMInnis College
Town Hall
2 Sussex Avenue (at St. George, south of Bloor)
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Global Taiwan Film and Panel


Director Hu Tai-Li’s film “Returning Souls” tells the story of the Taiwanese indigenous people, the Amis, recovering their land, restoring customs and reclaiming their ancient artifacts.

Following the film, Professor Scott Simon of the University of Ottawa’s School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, based on two decades of ethnographic work in Taiwan, will discuss issues of indigenous rights and cultural change among the Amis and other indigenous peoples in order to understand Hu Tai-li’s film in the wider socio-political context.

Professor Cara Krmpotich of University of Toronto’s iSchool Museum Studies program will draw on her ethnographic research with Canadian indigenous experiences of repatriation to discuss central themes of Director Hu Tai-Li’s film of indigenous Taiwanese efforts to repatriate material and ancestral remains, with a focus on the social, cultural, spiritual, museological and political issues evoked.

Bart Testa, of University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies Institute, will moderate.



5:30 Doors open
6:00 Welcome
Remarks by Director-General Y.M. Catherine Hsu, Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Toronto
6:05 Film screening of Returning Souls directed by Hu Tai-Li
7:35 Presentations by Professor Scott Simon and Professor Cara Krmpotich
8:05 Panel discussion and Q&A Moderated by Professor Bart Testa
8:45 Post-screening Party


Cara Krmpotich is Associate Professor, Museum Studies, at the iSchool. She researches and teaches in the areas of indigenous & museum relations; cultural property; critical collections management; and material culture and kinship. She leads a program that encourages hands-on artefact handling as a vehicle for collective memory work with urban Aboriginal seniors and has a long-term research partnership with the Haida Repatriation Committee.

Scott Simon is Professor and Co-Chair in Taiwan Studies. He specializes in the anthropology of indigeneity in Taiwan, including issues of political autonomy, legal pluralism, and hunting rights. He continues to conduct ethnographic research in Hualien and Nantou, more recently by collaborating with hunters to study human-animal relations. His most recent book was published by Presses de l’Université Laval.

Bart Testa is Associate Professor (teaching) at the Cinema Studies Institute, Innis College, University of Toronto. His teaching includes courses on Chinese Cinemas, European, Asian and European auteurs, narrative theory and cinema, urbanism and film, experimental cinema, Science Fiction movies and other popular genres.


Eileen Lam


Cara Krmpotich
Faculty of Information (i-School), University of Toronto

Scott Simon
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Ottawa

Bart Testa
Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto

Main Sponsor

Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy


Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Toronto


Asian Institute


Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto

Cinema Studies Student Union (CINSSU)

Contemporary Asian Studies Student Union (CASSU)

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