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Vera Mackie (Wollongong): ‘The Grandmothers: Memory, Affect and Transnational Activism’

October 24, 2016 @ 5:15 am - 6:30 pm

The School of East Asian Studies and The Department of History Research Seminar:

Monday 24 October 5:15 in the HRI

Vera Mackie, University of Wollongong

‘The Grandmothers: Memory, Affect and Transnational Activism’

On December 14 2010 a statue was erected in central Seoul, opposite the Embassy of Japan. The statue depicts a young woman in bobbed hair and Korean ethnic dress seated on a chair, facing the Embassy, with an empty chair beside her. On the platform beside the statue is a plaque, with inscriptions in Korean, Japanese, and English. The statue commemorates the weekly demonstrations held in front of the Japanese Embassy in support of the survivors of the enforced military prostitution/enforced sexual slavery system perpetrated by the Japanese military during the Asia-Pacific War in the 1930s and 1940s. Survivors and their supporters have been carrying out these weekly demonstrations from 1992 to the present. The statue was erected to mark the 1000th demonstration. This peace monument, as it is known, is both a memorial to those who suffered from militarised sexual violence and an acknowledgment of the activists who have fought for redress. The statue not only visualises their struggles, but acts as a three-dimensional avatar, replicating the steadfast stare of the demonstrators, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In this paper I explore the affective politics of this artwork, installation and memorial, and its rippling effects in the geopolitics of relationships between Japan, its East Asian neighbours and their diasporic communities.

All welcome.


October 24, 2016
5:15 am - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


Humanities Research Institute
34 Gell Street
Sheffield, South Yorkshire S3 7QY United Kingdom
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