The Value of Autobiographical Memory in Media Advocacy Campaign_5

A Case Study of Crowdfunding: the Campaign for the film “Sprits’ Homecoming” in South Korea

 

Value of the Movie

As mentioned earlier, the whole process of movie production and the movie itself are valuable as forms of human rights advocacy. The Japanese government has declared that there is no historical evidence to prove the existence of comfort women until now. The film showed that a media content can become a proof of historical fact. It was powerful enough to shape the cultural memory of Koreans. 

Limitation

Firstly, it would be better that the film could focus more on women’s dignity, not just focusing on Korean nationalism. As the Korean government seeks to have a positive outcome raising the issue of comfort women, it could seriously injure the women’s honour. That is to say, the comfort women issue is mainly being used to bolster the nationalism in South Korea in the situation where the political relation between Korea and Japan has been negative (Orreill 2008). In the same context, crowdfunding for the movie was successful because of the nationalism based on the negative Korea-Japan relation, rather than an issue of women’s sexual abuse and its seriousness. Cultural memory of the comfort women that Korean people would get from the film is about Japanese soldiers’ brutality during World War Two, not about an issue of women’s right or dignity during the war.   

Additionally, the film does not mention the comfort women for American soldiers during the Korean War (1950-1953) after the Second World War. There are even the “unwanted children” or “children of bad memories” between American soldiers and Korean comfort women. They have been ostracised in the Korean society (Pae 2011). There is no mention of this in the film.

Future Direction

Wartime sexual violence that happened to women should not be accepted as a justifiable practice and should be judged through universal values of human dignity, integrity, and sacredness. Therefore, women’s perspective of wartime and peace needs to be explored more through media and examined in a theoretical framework.

There was a current announcement from the Korean government that expressions such as “Comfort Women” and “sex slaves” will be deleted from a social studies textbook designated by the Korean government for primary school students (Inoue 2016). According to the government, it is because primary school students do not need to know about expressions like “sex slaves.” However, the term “Comfort Women” should exist as it is a primary proof of their existence in history. Thus, the movie campaign needs to be continued to have an impact on changing the current announcement of the government.   

Additionally, the social media campaign, “Hug_Together” could be performed as active rather than as passive in order to gain the comfort women’s dignity based on feminist movement. It could change its name to an active form such as “Let’s Speak Up.” The movie itself can also be remediated countless times by books, postal stamps, songs, and exhibitions of the women’s drawings in the future.