TIU Global Dialogue #2: Memorials’ Politics: Exploring the Material Rhetoric of the “Statue of Peace”

2020/10/27 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM


27/10/2020 - 7:00 pm


27/10/2020 - 8:00 pm

This session discusses the material rhetoric of the Statue of Peace built in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. Installed in 2011 to commemorate so-called “comfort women”—the former sex slaves forced to work in brothels during Korea’s occupation by the Empire of Japan—, several identical-looking copies of the statue have since spread throughout the country and beyond. While many observers have noted the symbolic politics of the sculpture, I argue for taking into account its material dimension too—with the aim of furthering our understanding of how commemorative practices are enabled by mnemonic installations. Building on the scholarship that has addressed the rhetoric of objects and places of remembrance, I ask how the statue acts on and engages with its viewers. Among others, site visits, observations, own experiences, interviews, and visual documentation serve as the basis of the discussion.

Speaker: David Shim (Assistant Professor of International Relations, University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Discussant: Seiko Mimaki (Associate Professor, Takasaki City University of Economics)
Moderator: Christopher Lamont (Associate Professor of International Relations, Tokyo International University)
Date & Time: October 27, 2020 at 19:00-20:00