The Hualien Seven Kilometers to Happiness is a committee established in response to the Hualien earthquake in February 2018. It aims to help survivors heal, overcome post-traumatic stress disorder, and bring life back to the disaster struck area. Located on the fault line, it recognizes the importance in initiating projects that teach community members how to reconnect and coexist with nature. The Fault Line Festival and the Hualien Seven Kilometers to Happiness Fair was created in effort to achieve this. Both initiatives took place one year after the earthquake between February and March of 2019 sharing the outcome of the past year.
Fault Line Festival Held from February 2nd to March 10th, the Fault Line, curated by North Point Studio, organized over 20 activities ranging from workshops, tours to the disaster zone to reintroduce the area, lectures, family friendly events, art and action art.
Three artists were specially invited from Japan and Taiwan to create installations for the area. While they engaged with the public through their works and designed games for children to inspire curiosity in the arts, psychologists, social workers and therapists encouraged dialogue through activities. With the success of the event, curator of the Fault Line Festival is in discussion with National Dong Hwa University’s Art Department on the possibility of organizing a biennial festival. They are also in discussion on initiating an artist in resident program collaborating with education and art associations.
Hualien Seven Kilometers to Happiness Fair The Hualien Seven Kilometers to Happiness Fair, which took place between March 1st and 2nd, brought together 80-some small business owners from artists, aroma therapists to mobile libraries; they set up stalls and gave lectures. The fair welcomed over 1,000 visitors enjoying local music, food, handicrafts, dance, storytelling and learned earthquake protection, safety and precautions.
The aim of the fair was to bring visitors back into the community. Located by the river where it was heavily impacted by the earthquake, visitors were able to enjoy its nature through the fair positively. The event was supported by volunteers, one in particular was a victim of the earthquake who wanted to give back to the committee for the support she received from their initiatives.
In the future, the Hualien Seven Kilometers to Happiness committee plans to continue community workshops and lectures such as mindful breathing and how to help and care for survivors. A website is in planning to continue raising awareness on mental health wellness for survivors of disasters. The committee hopes that its initiative will help prevent, help victims face and heal through their support network.
About Hualien Seven Kilometers to Happiness The Hualien Seven Kilometers to Happiness committee was initiated after the February 2018 earthquake in Hualien by a group of psychologists, social workers, therapists alongside local shop owners, media workers, writers and artists. They partook in the mental health healing of survivors through a series of activities which include workshops, lectures, DIY projects, reading clubs and more.
The initiative was mainly sponsored by ACF board member and Chair of Pegatron Corporation, Tzu-hsien Tung, who was born in Hualien. Tung created a Huatung Sustainable Growth Fund which supports three dimensions:
1. Mental health wellness:
- Hualien Seven Kilometers to Happiness
- Talk to a Listener program in collaboration with the Dwen An Social Welfare Foundation
2. Changbin-Fengbin industry and community project
3. Future of education2019:
- National Robotics Competition
- Tamorak Kindergarten which teaches in the Makotaay village’s native language of Amis.