Zizhu Village [自助新村] is a military dependents’ village located in Kaohsiung City’s Zuoying District. In an attempt to save the village from demolition, a group of students have decorated the village’s buildings and roads to attract visitors. Like Taichung’s Chun An Village, this village has been receiving a lot of attention lately and even has its own Facebook page created by the artists where visitors can post photographs from their visits.
Military dependents’ villages [眷村] are communities throughout Taiwan built in the late 1940s through 1950s for the original purpose of providing provisional housing to Nationalist soldiers and their dependents after the KMT retreated to Taiwan. However, they ended up becoming permanent settlements of mainlander enclaves in Taiwanese cities. These communities were haphazardly constructed and often poorly maintained. Since the 1990s, most of these villages have been bulldozed and replaced by high-rise communities. There are efforts to preserve some of the few remaining dependents’ villages as historical sites.
Here is a small collection of photographs from our visit to Zizhu Village:
More Photographs: On Flickr
Location: On Google Maps