Voices and words weave sound waves and brain waves into a magic carpet for the imagination, which takes us on a fantastic dance around the city.
The publishing industry provides platforms for knowledge creation, trend observation, and cultural transmission; Taiwan is an especially prolific and creative environment for the literary arts in the Chinese language world. In 2013, to support the local publishing industry and literary scene, the Taiwan Cultural and Creativity Development Foundation held the first annual Wordwave Festival. Modeled on the Leipzig Reads program in the Leipzig Book Fair, Wordwave was inspired by the readers in Cuban cigar factories who have been reading to workers since the 19th century.
At the festival, Chinese language literature takes center stage, supported by the arts and entertainment industries. Talent from theater, visual arts, film and television, technology, and creative industries come together to create an unique festival experience for the people who gather every year to “make word waves”. The festival aims to nurture Taiwan’s publishing industry and explore brand new ways of reading and listening in daily life.
In 2014, the first Translation across Frontiers Forum was held at the second annual Worldwave Festival. Translators at home and abroad were invited to share their translation experiences and discuss the visibility of Taiwanese literature on the international stage.
Bookstores and boutiques around Taipei and Kaohsiung also participated by holding in-house reading events to inject cultural vitality into the city.
Our Three-Part Mission
To build a cross-industry platform in order to establish a prosperous publishing ecosystem, and to create meaningful collaboration that compounds value.
To build a Mandarin-based international platform for intercultural exchange. Mandarin is the second most commonly spoken international language after English. At the Forum, exchanges between sinologists, translators, students and teachers help spread knowledge and ideas as well as a love of Mandarin Chinese around the world.
To make space for live reading in daily life, empowering readers and encouraging writers.
For reading aloud to become part of our collective daily life would create a strong demand for original creative works and a solid foundation for the prosperity of our publishing industry.
Reading is personal: a girl or boy and a book constitute a world, whole and entire; but reading aloud is inter-personal. As authors read and readers listen, the human voice is like an electric wire, delivering jolts that open gates in our minds and link authors and listeners together. The Wordwave Festival has attracted more than 200,000 people, invited more than 250 celebrity readers, held 165 literary events, collaborated with 100 brands, and allowed for 172 books to be performed aloud. Every year, the festival expands our imaginations, building bridges between the written word and readers.
The Wordwave Festival is for everyone, from Taiwan to the world, from individuals to communities. It is also everywhere, from urban greens to radio stations. When people in every corner of the city start reading aloud, their voices, transforming and expanding, would make waves on which dreams may surf and over which the imagination might sail.