A Conversation with Sewol Families
Friday 20 March
3 to 5 pm
Location: Beit Zatoun
(612 Markham St., Toronto, ON M6G 2L8)
On April 16, 2014, the Sewol passenger ferry carrying 476 lives capsized off the southern shore of South Korea. For reasons still unknown and to the shock of many who watched the tragedy unfold in the news, no real rescue effort was made to save the passengers. In total, 9 are still missing and 294 were killed, including 245 high school students (Grade 11) who were on a school field trip. The bereaved families have emerged as important critical voices in demanding a full investigation and accountability, and powerful figures in broader movements for public safety and social justice. Nearly a year since the tragedy, allegations of gross negligence and government corruption remain unexamined, and the families face growing apathy and smear campaigns of misinformation.
The bereaved families have just begun a North American speaking tour in March 2015 to meet with supporters in more than 15 major cities. Coming to Toronto and Vancouver are two parents who lost their teenage daughters in the Sewol tragedy: Jisung Lee (Doun Kim’s mother) and Jongbeom Park (Yeseul Park’s father). They will meet with the Toronto-based group that has led an ongoing “relay hunger strike” in solidarity with Sewol families since August 2014 (Day 215 on March 20), and participate in discussions with activist and academic community to share their experiences of grief, outrage, and commitment to justice.
Facilitation and Interpretation: Judy Han, Assistant Professor in Geography, University of Toronto
Introduction: “Deregulation at Sea: the Sewol disaster and regulatory capture in Korea”, Yoonkyung Lee, Associate Professor in Sociology, Binghamton University.
Presentation by the Families and Local Activists
Jisung Lee (Doun Kim’s mother) and Jongbeom Park (Yeseul Park’s father)
Kelly Lee, the Toronto People in Solidarity with the Families of Sewol Ferry
Q&A and Discussion
This event is co-sponsored by the University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Korea, Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies, York Centre for Asian Research, and the Toronto People in Solidarity with the Families of Sewol Ferry.