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Date and time

Saturday, September 24, 2011

5:30 to 7:00 pm

Reception to follow


New York University

19 University Place, Room 102

(near the corner of University Place and East 8th Street)

4,5,6 to Astor Place, N, R to 8th Street

Since 2007, the villagers of Gangjeong on Jeju Island have been waging a fierce resistance against the construction of a massive naval base. Although Jeju was officially designated the “Island of Peace” in 2006 by the South Korean government, it is now aiming by 2014 to build the base, which will host 20 warships and two Aegis destroyers that will be connected to the US military’s Missile Defense System.

Not only will the base significantly impact the pristine UNESCO-designated environment of Gangjeong, many fear that the base will fuel a growing arms race with China. Gangjeong residents and activists have used every democratic means to block the illegitimate construction, but with growing global attention to the Jeju resistance, the South Korean government has been intensifying its crackdown. It recently dispatched more than 1,000 riot police from the mainland to forcibly remove and arrest protesters to clear the way for resuming construction. 

Traveling all the way from Jeju is renowned Korean artist Koh Gilchun whose art and activism are at the center of the struggle in Gangjeong. An icon of “4.3” art that reveals the truth of the 1948 massacre, Koh’s art promotes healing, reunification and peace.

Joining Koh is Gloria Steinem, feminist icon and author, who has been front and center in her solidarity with the villagers of Jeju, who will share her perspective on why Americans must get involved in preserving paradise island, island of peace.  Professor Henry Em of NYU will connect the event to the arc of history and resistance in Jeju, and Sukjong Hong from Nodutdol for Korean Community Development will moderate.

For more background

Take a look at what Gangjeong Village looks like.

Listen to an interview with the Gangjeong Village mayor about his opposition to the naval base.

Hear Gloria Steinem’s interview with CNN about Jeju Island below: