London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Voices of Freedom: Performances, Escapee Talks, Documentary & Director Q&A

Date: Saturday 16 March 2024, 3pm - 6pm
Venue:
Kingston Guildhall | High Street | Kingston Upon Thames KT1 1EU | | [Map]

Tickets: Free | Register via Eventbrite
Poster: Voices of Freedom

You’re Invited to “Voices of Freedom”: An Evening of Reflection, Tribute, and Unity

Join us for a profound journey through the stories of North Korean defectors and the forgotten POWs of the Korean War, hosted by the Peaceful Unification Advisory Council. This unique event weaves together inspiring lectures, a compelling documentary screening, and heartfelt performances from both North and South Korean performers, paying tribute to the spirit of resilience and unity.

Event Highlights:

  • Inspiring Lectures: Hear firsthand from Joseph Cho, a North Korean escapee and human rights advocate, alongside Son Myung Hwa, chairman of the Prisoners of War Association. They will share their insights into the impact of the Korean Separation on human rights and the ongoing struggle for freedom.
  • Documentary Screening: Experience the UK premiere of “Silenced No. 43,” produced by the Korean War Prisoners’ Family Association. This powerful documentary uncovers the harrowing experiences of Korean War POWs and their quest for dignity.
  • Artistic Performances: Be moved by emotional performances from both North and South Korean artists. These performances aim to pay homage to the enduring human spirit and the shared dream of unification and peace.
  • Presentation & Q&A: Engage with the documentary’s director, Son Myung Hwa, in a thought-provoking Q&A session, offering deeper insights into the film’s creation and its significance.
  • Reception & Culinary Experience: Enjoy a reception featuring traditional North Korean dishes prepared by chef Alice Lee, fostering a sense of community and shared heritage.
  • Special Book Signing: Seize the opportunity to obtain a signed copy of Son Myung Hwa’s poignant book detailing her life as a North Korean escapee and POW family member.
  • Admission: Admission is complimentary, with advanced reservation required due to limited seating.

About the Documentary:

“Silenced No. 43” aims to illuminate the stories of over 78,000 prisoners, many of whom faced tragic fates in North Korean coal mines. Inspired by the memoirs of Myung Hwa Son and stories from defectors, this documentary is a testament to loss, hope, and the unyielding quest for freedom. Through personal accounts, archival footage, and intimate photographs, the film honors the memory of those who have suffered and strives to bring their stories to the forefront of our consciousness.

We invite the Korean community in London and all allies to this impactful evening of film, discussions, performances, and cultural exchange. Let us come together to honor the legacy of those who have fought for freedom and human dignity, bridging the gap between past and present in our collective journey toward peace and unification.

Agenda

15:00 – 15:30: Opening Ceremony

With: Sol Morrissey, Becky Smith

The opening ceremony will begin with an engaging opening address by the chairperson, setting the stage for the day’s events and welcoming all attendees. This will be followed by the playing of national anthems, honoring the heritage and unity of the nations represented. A poignant moment of silence will then be observed, offering attendees a chance to reflect on the themes of the event and pay respects to the struggles and sacrifices discussed. The ceremony will conclude with warm welcomes to all distinguished guests, laying the groundwork for a day of meaningful dialogue and exchange.

15:30 – 16:00: Performances

With: London Hummingbirds Choir, Cheongra Ha & Associates

Our event will feature three captivating performances that promise to enchant and educate our audience. First, the London Hummingbird Korean Choir will grace us with their harmonious melodies, showcasing the rich vocal traditions of Korea. Following, Cheongra Ha will mesmerize attendees with the soulful sounds of the 대금 (Daegeum), a traditional Korean bamboo flute. This performance will be uniquely accompanied by a dance and calligraphy rendition, blending music, movement, and art into a single expression of cultural beauty. Lastly, we will present a powerful North Korean drum and sword dance, a dynamic and exhilarating performance that combines traditional rhythms with martial arts, demonstrating the strength and resilience embedded in North Korean cultural practices. Together, these performances will provide a diverse and immersive experience into Korean cultural heritage.

16:00 – 17:00: Special Talks & Screening

With: Joseph Cho, Myung Hwa Son

Our event will feature a series of inspiring lectures, offering attendees the unique opportunity to hear firsthand from individuals deeply affected by the Korean Separation. Joseph Cho, a courageous North Korean escapee and human rights advocate, will share his personal journey and insights into the human rights challenges faced by those in and out of North Korea. Alongside him, Son Myung Hwa, the esteemed chairman of the Prisoners of War Association, will discuss the impact of the Korean Separation on human rights and the continuous struggle for freedom and dignity. Additionally, the event will include the UK premiere of “Silenced No. 43,” a compelling documentary produced by the Korean War Prisoners’ Family Association. This poignant film brings to light the harrowing experiences of Korean War POWs and their undying quest for recognition and dignity, offering a deeply moving and educative experience for all attendees.

17:00 – 17:30: Q&A

Following the screening of “Abandoned Heroes No. 43,” attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with Son Myung Hwa, providing a platform to delve deeper into the themes and stories presented in the documentary.

17:30 – 18:00: Closing & Reception

With: Alice Han

To culminate our event in a memorable fashion, we will close with one final special performance that promises to leave a lasting impression on our attendees, celebrating the rich cultural heritage and resilience of the Korean spirit. Following this captivating performance, we invite you to join us at a reception where the talents of North Korean chef Alice Han will be on full display. Guests will have the unique opportunity to indulge in a variety of authentic North Korean dishes, each prepared with care and tradition in mind, accompanied by complementary drinks to enhance your culinary experience.

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