Saturday University with Suk-Young Kim
DMZ Crossings: Performing Emotional Citizenship along the Korean Border
The Korean Demilitarized Zone may be a small strip of land (only two miles wide and 155 miles long), but it is one of the most dramatic places on earth. It has provided passage for defectors, spies, political emissaries, separated families, war prisoners, cultural troupes, environmental activists, and tourists alike. Established as a buffer zone between the two Koreas in 1953, the DMZ helped bring about a temporary ceasefire. Since then, it has witnessed the two Koreas’ tumultuous relationship, from dangerous hostility to hopeful moments of reconciliation.
This talk explores how border crossings between the two Koreas are represented in the 1965 South Korean film The DMZ. Shot in the actual DMZ, the film is a poignant vignette to evoke the contested space of the DMZ where the tragic and yet hopeful dimensions of family ties stand for splintered citizenship in Korea.
About the Presenter:
Suk-Young Kim is a Professor of Critical Studies in the Department of Theater at UCLA where she also directs the Center for Performance Studies. She is the author of Illusive Utopia: Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea (2010), and DMZ Crossing: Performing Emotional Citizenship Along the Korean Border (2014). Her comments on North and South Korean cultures have been featured on major media outlets, such as NPR, BBC, CNN, NYT and Billboard Magazine among others.
Saturday University is held in partnership with the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, Seattle University, and Elliott Bay Book Company.