We live in a MAD world – we live with the threat of nuclear warfare, where mad stands for Mutually Assured Destruction. Where the theatre of war shifts across the globe and is part of our reality, no matter who we are or where we live. We are all at risk and all, to some extent, implicated. Which is why South African filmmaker, Mark J Kaplan went to Jeju island, off the South Korean mainland. This ecologically unique island is a paradise with a dark side. Where a Cold War genocide just after the Second World War has been followed by a new and different kind of massacre, the construction of a massive naval base that has devastated the environment and placed the islanders in the cross-hairs of a potential future global conflict between the two world Super-powers, The United States of America and China.
Through the memories and actions of a range of political activists, religious leaders and artists the film explores the interconnectedness of past, present and future and the universal relevance of a village resisting an empire.
Noam Chomsky on “Village vs Empire”:
Jeju Island was the scene of horrendous atrocities by the US-backed South Korea dictatorship 70 years ago. Its people recovered, and it is now internationally recognized as an island of world peace. It is also the site of many UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites. In recent years the US and South Korea have been desecrating the island with a huge naval base, significantly expanding military confrontation with China and causing immense damage to the lives of the islanders and to the environment. The villagers of the most affected region have been conducting a most impressive and courageous non-violent campaign to prevent these dangerous and destructive programs, facing severe repression and state violence, also seeking crucial international support. To learn more about this remarkable story, I urge you to watch this film.
See Trailer here: https://vimeo.com/179994669
We are fortunate to discuss with Professor Yong Bock Kim – South Korean Anti Nuclear Activist, how we can grow the anti nuclear campaign in South Africa.
Prof Kim is a “community academic” with deep personal and professional commitments to a range of matters related to ecological, social and economic justice. This includes a nascent BDS movement against corporations involved in the nuclear industry in Korea and Japan; Palestine solidarity movements in Korea; international peace movements and interfaith networks addressing matters of justice globally and in different local contexts.
Yong-Bock Kim is President of the Asia Pacific Graduate School for the Study of Life, Seoul, Korea and Editor of Madang, Journal of Contextual Theology in Northeast Asia.
He received a BA in Philosophy (1961) at the Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea; a M.Div at Princeton Theological Seminary (1966) and a Ph.D from the Princeton Theological Seminary (1969). The title of his dissertation is, Historical Transformation, People’s Movement, and Christian Koinonia.
Since 1967 he lectured at a variety of universities, institutes and seminaries in the USA, Asia and Europe.
Besides his academic activities and list of scholarly articles in English and Korean he has an energetic history of ecumenical engagement in, amongst others, the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and many other organisations.
Prof Kim’s visit to Cape Town aims to meet with persons and organisations related to anti-nuclear activism, peace and justice organizations, South African Palestine solidarity organisations, learning lessons from anti-apartheid BDS campaigns with a view to develop anti-nuclear BDS strategies and as a philosopher and theologian address more fundamental matters of life for this day and age.