The Flower That Doesn’t Wilt: I’m The Evidence
This month at Seodaemun Prison in Seoul there is an added exhibition titled The Flower That Doesn’t Wilt: I’m the Evidence.
The exhibit is a collection of comics by 14 different artists that depicts different aspects of the lives of the comfort women from the past, the present and into the future and it is powerful. The artists did not hold back with some drawings showing men crawling all over naked women and drawings with women draped in a sea of blood. The hall that was chosen for the exhibition once held independence fighters that were tortured over and over again on their path to freedom and it seems a fitting place for such an exhibit as the dark dank hallways make the screams depicted in the comics that much stronger. (To learn more about Seodaemun Prison, check out this post.)
This exhibit was showcased at the 41st Angouleme International Comics Festival, the world’s largest festival for published comics, in Angouleme, France last month. This year organizers chose to focus on comics that portrayed war and sexual violence against women in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI.
Not surprisingly, the exhibit did not please the Japanese government who pressured the festival organizers to cancel the exhibit and when the event was not cancelled, Japan prepared an exhibition in retaliation with a sign that read, “Comfort women do not exist”.
Fortunately, the booth was immediately taken down by festival organizers who explained, “It is not political to tell people an unknown fact; what is political is to tell people a distorted fact. The South Korean exhibition is art in nature for artists to tell their memories and history, whereas the Japanese booth was extremely political in nature. So we had to tear it down.”
The exhibit will run until March 30th and is definitely worth a visit even if you can’t read the Korean titles and descriptions. Not only do people need to be more aware of this issue, but need to support the women that are fighting daily to make people see that this existed and still exists around the world today. If you’re interested in other ways to support these brave women check out my article on their Wednesday protests outside of the Japanese embassy here in Seoul and the The War and Women’s Human Rights Museum in Mapo-gu, Seoul which gives visitors a look at the history and what is happening now around the world.
The Flower That Doesn’t Wilt: I’m the Evidence
Where: Seodaemun Prison
Directions: Dongnimmun Subway Station, exit 5. Turn left out of the exit and through the trees you’ll come to the prison.
Admission: W3,000 for entrance to all of the prison grounds including the exhibition.
Hours: 9:30AM – 6:00PM, last admission is 30 minutes before closing, closed on Mondays
When: The exhibition will run until March 30, 2014