Authors: Soohyung Hur*, University of Washington
Topics: Political Geography, Asia, Cultural Geography
Keywords: emotion, transnational solidarity, activism, decolonial, modernity, coloniality, Asian geographies
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
This paper investigates the recent contentious strides of the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance, a well-established South Korean organization seeking redress for Korean survivors of wartime sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army. Stirring intense controversy within Korea, since 2013, the organization started expressing solidarity with survivors of violence perpetrated by Korean soldiers during the Viet Nam War. This project pays attention to this rather bold development in the Korean Council’s work. It focuses on a particularly striking component: the “Viet Nam Butterfly Peace Trips.” Every year, the Korean Council gathers its allies to visit sites of memorialization and meet Vietnamese survivors. It aims to invoke learning and alternative future imaginings through characteristically emotional experiences. Drawing on decolonial studies, I first argue that modernity/coloniality is central to attempts to thwart the Viet Nam War redress movement and possibilities for solidarity with the Korean Council. Building on this, I bring in emotional scholarship to argue that emotions challenge modernity/coloniality. Thus, this project explores the budding of decolonial politics when we take emotions seriously.