Enlisting In The Army

By Salizan Takisvilainan

Translated by C.J. Andrson-Wu


the knife worn on waist

holding a mauser in hand


Dressing in

an army green uniform

equipped with an advanced T-65K2 Rifle



Standing straight upward at

the square for the Inauguration Ceremony


I suddenly become

the black soldier on the cover of

Paris Match*


 * Roland Barthes demonstrated his theory of semiology with the cover from Paris Match of July 1955, showing a young black soldier in French uniform. He pointed out that a saluting soldier did not provide us true information of the young man's life, but it has been chosen by the magazine to symbolize more than the young man himself.



Translator’s Note:

Salizan Takisvilainan is an indigenous Bunun man in Taiwan. Bunun people have dark skin compared to the mainstream Han people. Bunun people constitute around 0.26% of Taiwan’s population. Military service in Taiwan is mandatory for men over 18.


Published on April 17th, 2023




                                                          ©TheCaliforniaPoppyTimesNews. All rights reserved.