1945-1960

As we approach Remembrance Sunday, the walkways and open spaces of Canary Wharf have been adorned with works by artist Mark Humphrey in what is described as the UK’s first Remembrance Art Trail, in association with the Royal British Legion and constructed with the help of the Corps of Royal Engineers, consists of seven art […]

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New Paju footbridge honours Glorious Glosters

by Philip Gowman 25 October 2016
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I am grateful to the Association for the Study of Songun Politics UK for alerting me to the recent opening of a new bridge – the “Gloucester Heroes Bridge” – commemorating the role of British forces (and it was not just the Glosters, though they are the regiment who feature most prominently in the accounts) […]

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Book review: Hwang Sun-won — Lost Souls

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2016
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Hwang Sun-won: Lost Souls Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Columbia University Press 2010, 354pp Having quite enjoyed two of Hwang Sun-won’s fuller-length stories – Trees on a Slope and Descendants of Cain – though without necessarily being enamoured of the characters of the stories they inhabited, I was looking forward to tackling Lost Souls, […]

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Film Review: Korean Undertaker and Not One of the Forgotten

by Philip Gowman 27 July 2015
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For about four years Bona Shin of Theatre for All has been getting to know some of the British veterans from Korean War, particularly those based in the Virginia Water area; and as she got to know them she decided to collect some of their memories and preserve them in documentary form. The resulting two […]

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Korea Post honours the Glosters

by Philip Gowman 5 July 2015
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Lt Col James Power Carne of the Gloucestershire Regiment appears on a new Korean postage stamp, part of a set of ten issued to mark the 65th anniversary of the start of the war. The BBC regional website for Gloucestershire has the full story.

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Press preview: Two Korean War documentaries

by Philip Gowman 21 June 2015
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For a while now Theatre for All have been working with British Korean War veterans, gathering their memories. Some of the fruits of their labours will be revealed this Thursday, the 65th anniversary of the start of the war, in a press preview in Kingston. You can register for the screenings at Eventbrite. Premiere screenings: […]

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Ghosts of Jeju to get another London screening

by Philip Gowman 6 April 2015
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Eighteen months ago there was a screening of this documentary about the 4:3 incident also known as the Jeju Massacre. There’s now an opportunity to see it again at a deli in Deptford on 27 April as part of the Free Film Festival. Free event. No ticket required, but capacity is only 40 so get […]

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Edinburgh Fringe visit: two Korean monodramas and one Korean American

by Philip Gowman 18 August 2014
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Korean acts coming to the Fringe have often majored on the non-verbal: percussion, taekwondo, comedy, physical theatre, music and dance. Last year, with Othello – Two Men, we discovered that more traditional theatre, heavy on text, can work well despite the language barrier – provided surtitles are visible. This year the Korean contingent was bolder […]

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UK-Korea Relations – A Talk by Thomas Harris KBE

by Matthew Jackson 2 July 2014
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The talk on UK-Korea relations by Sir Thomas Harris KBE CMG, held at Gresham College on Friday 27th of June, was both a stimulating and ultimately uplifting account of the diplomatic and economic interactions between the two countries before and after the Korean War. Amongst his various international posts as a businessman and diplomat, Sir […]

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The Ghosts of Jeju to screen at SOAS

by Philip Gowman 3 October 2013
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Those who are eager to watch Jiseul (and here’s hoping it will be getting a London screening soon) will want to watch this documentary to fill in some of the background. It also provides context to the protests about the Gangjeong naval base. The Ghosts of Jeju Dir: Regis Tremblay, 2013, 80 mins Brunei Gallery, […]

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1956 – The birth of the hallyu?

by Philip Gowman 16 June 2013
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Not really. But there’s a nice story in the Korea Herald about what is believed to be the first ever single released by a Korean artist in the U S of A: Ok Doo-ok’s East of Make Believe – a 1956 English-language remake of Korean singer Hyeon In’s Gohyangmanri, which roughly translates as “Miles Away […]

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SOAS Seminar: The Korean Police Prepare for War, 1946-1950

by Philip Gowman 21 January 2013
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The second SOAS seminar of the spring term: Martyrs and Murderers: The Korean Police Prepare for War, 1946-1950 Konrad Lawson (Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow, European University Institute) Date: 25 January 2013 Time: 5:15 – 7:00 PM Venue: Russell Square, College Buildings, Room G50 Speaker Biography Konrad Lawson is a Max Weber postdoctoral fellow at the […]

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Jiseul – a film to watch out for in 2013

by Philip Gowman 3 January 2013
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It won awards at Busan where it premiered in the 2012 festival, and it will be showing at Sundance and Rotterdam: Jiseul (지슬) – a sombre film about the 1948 Jeju Uprising, written and directed by Jeju resident O Muel (오멸). It might not be an easy film to watch, but it’s an important part […]

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Jerome De Wit at SOAS: Motivations for Writing during the Korean War

by Philip Gowman 28 November 2012
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The final free seminar before the Christmas break is as follows: The War Within: Motivations for Writing during the Korean War Jerome De Wit (Leiden University) Date: 7 December 2012 Time: 5:15 PM Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G50 Abstract The first few months of the Korean War (1950-1953) saw dramatic shifts in the […]

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Adam Cathcart at SOAS: Sino-North Korean relations in 1940s and 1950s

by Philip Gowman 13 November 2012
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The fourth of this season’s free seminars at SOAS: Sino-North Korean relations in the borderland regions in the 1940s and early 1950s Adam Cathcart (Queen’s University, Belfast) Date: 23 November 2012 Time: 5:15 PM Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G50 Abstract Sino-North Korean relations in the borderland regions in the 1940s and early 1950s […]

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Andre Schmid at SOAS: moral didactic literature and North Korean history

by Philip Gowman 5 November 2012
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The third of this season’s free seminars at SOAS: How does the rise of moral didactic literature fit into narratives of North Korean history? Andre Schmid (University of Toronto) Date: 16 November 2012 Time: 5:15 PM Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G50 Abstract How to be a good socialist subject? After the Korean War […]

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2012 Travel Diary 9: Yun Isang — Victim of the Cold War

by Philip Gowman 29 May 2012
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Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Monday 26 March 2012. For most big Korean cultural events there’s a glossy brochure with a welcome message from various officials and dignitaries. And for the most important events you might expect a welcome message from the Minister of Culture. It is a measure of the sensitivity of the Tongyeong International Music Festival’s […]

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