From findings from my research supported by a Fulbright grant, I found that young North Korean defectors sought to have their perspectives represented in the discourse on North Korea. To address this issue, I founded Stories from the Hermit Kingdom as a social innovation project that seeks to empower young North Korean defectors share their stories through digital storytelling and public art in South Korea. The pilot for this project is taking place from February-August 2018.
Because the dialogue surrounding the North Korean issue centers around North Korea's nuclear capabilities and human rights violations, we tend to forget the 25 million people who live within their borders and beyond. To combat the political misrepresentation of North Korean defectors, we are working towards providing educational and professional guidance for North Korean defector youth in South Korea through a digital storytelling workshop. We believe that productive intercultural dialogue can happen in South Korea when North Koreans have artistic ownership and responsibility over their own stories.
Partner organizations of this project are the US Department of State, US Embassy Seoul, Jubilee Media, Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR), and Shared Studios. This project was made possible by a generous grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Diplomacy.