“When has been the most difficult time in your life up until now?”“When I was in my last year of high school I got rid of my phone. I must have been strange at that time. I wasn’t suffering from depression by I was depressed. I got rid of my phone, I didn’t watch TV, and I cut myself off from all media and forms of communication. I didn’t meet my friends either. I just slept at school and went straight home. I didn’t care about anything, and after a few months my friends screamed at me to come out. So, I got a new phone, hung out with my friends. and finally started to think about university. However, once the time came I realized I didn’t have anything prepared and got really stressed as the rejection letters came one by one.”“Why did you start feeling depressed in the first place?”“If I think about it…there was nothing I wanted to do. I think I was always tormented by the vague thoughts about my uncertain future. Now I have things I want to do, so I’m okay.”
“지금까지 살면서 언제 가장 힘들었나요?”“고3때 핸드폰을 없앴어요. 제가 그때는 이상했었나 봐요. 우울증까지는 아닌데 우울했었어요. 핸드폰도 없애고 티비도 안보고 모든 미디어와 소통을 다 단절했어요. 친구들이랑도 안 놀고 학교에서도 잠만 자고 바로 집에 왔었어요. 아무 상관 없이 그렇게 몇 달을 있는데 친구들이 나오라고 난리쳤어요. 그래서 다시 핸드폰 만들고 활동하게 됐고 겨우 대학도 생각하고 그랬어요. 그런데 막상 대학을 가려니 저는 아무 준비도 안 되어 있고 대학도 하나씩 하나씩 떨어지니까 그런 것들이 스트레스가 크게 왔어요.” "그때 우울증이 왜 생겼었던 거 같나요?"“생각해보면…하고 싶은 게 없어서 였던 거 같아요. 불확실한 미래에 대한 막연한 생각들이 절 괴롭혔던 것 같아요. 지금은 하고싶은 게 생겨서 좋아요.”

"How can we remain true to ourselves without becoming infinitely arrogant and extravagant? People want us to fit in without complaint, and we are completely ridiculous in the solitude we want to preserve—and we cannot justify that. It is not that we fear what we are experiencing, but rather the dreadful result: that after the lived experience we will become numb and assume the same cowardly gesture unto eternity. I hope you won’t be annoyed if these words, which could be uttered only from my point of view, failed to touch on anything of importance to you, if I made the mistake of keeping my remarks too general. But you will surely agree with me that everything depends on our not allowing any of our warmth for people to be taken from us. Even if, for a while, we must preserve this warmth in a less expressive and more abstract way, it will endure and surely find its form."

— Walter Benjamin, from a letter to Carla Seligson (via violentwavesofemotion)


Brutus Magazine, February 2012

South Korean 'comfort women' for US military sue state for forced prostitution

A group of South Korean former “comfort women”, who worked in state-controlled brothels for the US military after the 1950-53 Korean War, has reportedly filed a suit demanding compensation from the authorities for forced prostitution.

It’s the first time that such legal action has been taken regarding the brothels, or “special areas” that were sanctioned by the South Korean government, The Asahi Shimbun media outlet reported.

The women are seeking 10 million won ($9,850) for being made to serve as “US military comfort women” after the Korean War ended in 1953.

The suit, filed on June 25, stated that the South Korean authorities subjugated the women and forced them to provide sex, violating their human rights.

Moreover, the group said that they had been obliged to go through medical check-ups for sexually transmitted diseases.

The plaintiffs also urged the authorities to issue an official apology, revealing the true historical facts.

The Korean War lasted from 1950 till 1953 and split the country in two. During the war, the US intervened as South Korea’s ally, while China were allies of the North.

Throughout the war, UN and South Korean comfort stations operated on the frontline.

However, even after hostilities had ended, between the 1950s and 1960s, some 60 percent of all South Korean prostitutes worked near US military camps.

In 1960, two lawmakers in the South Korean National Assembly called on the country’s leadership to train a supply of prostitutes for the allied military, to prevent them from spending their money in Japan instead.


Lawrence Weiner