Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/176338
Title: EXPLORING OVERSEAS KOREANS’ GEOGRAPHICAL IMAGINATIONS OF KOREA THROUGH THE COMFORT WOMEN PHENOMENON
Authors: YOON SEOH YOUN ALICE
Keywords: Comfort Women
Geographical Imaginations
Film Geography
Emotions
Korean Cinema
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Issue Date: 11-Jan-2020
Citation: YOON SEOH YOUN ALICE (2020-01-11). EXPLORING OVERSEAS KOREANS’ GEOGRAPHICAL IMAGINATIONS OF KOREA THROUGH THE COMFORT WOMEN PHENOMENON. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: On 28 December 2015, the South Korean and Japanese government came to a ‘final and irreversibly’ agreement regarding the comfort women phenomenon. However, the agreement has gained international criticism for denying the voices of the surviving women. Feminist scholars have also been critical about the two nation’s nationalist approach to the issue, denying the agency and resilience of the women, and portraying them as mere victims. Using a Korean comfort women film Snowy Road (2017), thesis aims to redress this gap by using film analysis and semi structured interviews to better understand Korea’s cinematic representation of the comfort women phenomenon. Exploring the geography in and of Snowy Road using the proposed concept of emotional geographical imaginations, this thesis examines the relationship between emotions and geographical imaginations in two ways. Firstly, by engaging in film analysis, I explore how Lee’s geographical imaginations of the Korean nation, society and comfort women are presented, and what kinds of emotions her geographical imaginations evoke. Additionally, I combine Goffman’s concept of front-back space, Scott’s weapons of the weak, and Sandy’s constrained choice, to analyse how the portrayal of characters in Snowy Road unsettle the dominant representation of all comfort women as helpless victim, and comfort stations as only sites of abuse. Secondly, drawing on findings from in-depth interviews with 20 overseas Koreans in Singapore, I investigate participants’ interpretation of the film, and their geographical imaginations of Korea. Comparing participants’ geographical imaginations of the Korean nation, society and comfort women before and after watching the movie, this thesis examines the role of emotions, and the influence of ii overseas experiences in shaping participants’ geographical imaginations of their home country. I find that living overseas, combined with other factors such as historical knowledge, provide participants with more objective and critical geographical imaginations of Korea.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/176338
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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