The self-representation of Taiwanese indigenous musicians on social media


Since most of the indigenous singer-songwriters with cultural intentions perform themselves through social media, they communicate culture to other people. As an online community platform, social media has a function of interpersonal communication to the contemporary indigenous music community. Moreover, the indigenous music became a dialogue field between musicians and listeners, from which it could be heard that the consultations between indigenous peoples and other groups in Taiwan during each period.

For the Internet surfer, social media are a way to link the content with indigenous music randomly. However, for indigenous musicians and their fans, they are a necessary tool for communicating their culture and identity with each other. This paper discusses the social media use of indigenous musicians in Taiwan. To address the issue of the process through which the Taiwanese indigenous musicians communicate culture, music, and identity with and to their audiences, this research is eager to escape the framework of the “pan-indigenous ethnic group” to explore the ways in which contemporary Taiwanese musicians communicate their identities through music and to represent themselves online.

The Internet provides a space for indigenous self-representation. For the movements, social media may improve their visibility in society in order to articulate the world in which to reshape their self-positioning. However, in my research, the perspective is transferred to exploring the more comprehensive debates on the complicated interaction among those in the Taiwanese indigenous musical network, indigenous culture, and the networking on social media. This is for investigating the nature of indigeneity in contemporary Taiwan through observation of the communication process of indigenous musicians on social media and the fieldwork in their life experiences, including local life, music festivals and performance in different countries.