Analysis Of The Photograph Of Park Jong Chul 's Student Lead Demonstration At The Korea University Of Seoul

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In the photograph of Park Jong-chul’s student-lead demonstration at the Korea University of Seoul in 1987 [fig. 1], there are hundreds of bodies, united together, facing against the military police of recently-elected Roh Tae-woo. What is not seen in this photograph, however, is the underlying sentiments that turned each individual into a member of this mass. What is really at play in the minds of these students is the ideology of minjung. The concept obtained political meaning in the mid-1970s, becoming a major movement in the 1980s that sought political, social, and cultural change. Commonly translated into “the mass of the people” or simply “mass” or “the people,” minjung was used as a way of categorizing all strata of society that were “victimized” by the Park Chun Hee regime not only politically, but economically, socially, culturally, and religiously as well. In this fight for the mobilization of the oppressed – a fight for democracy – it was not only students and workers who became politicized, but even producers of culture, such as writers and artists. This essay will focus on this latter movement, specifically looking at the “minjung art” movement in a heavily politicized South Korea of the 1980s. This essay will first dissect the meaning of minjung and culture before taking a close look at several pieces of minjung art and the way art became a political tool. Through an examination of minjung, art, and minjung art, this essay will analyze the relationship between

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