Our Lives, Our Space

Our Lives, Our Space: Views of Women in a Red-Light District

Sculpture Court, Jewett Arts Center

Opening Reception: Thurs., Oct. 22, 3:30pm
Exhibit Dates: Oct. 1-23, 2009
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:15am-7pm, Weekends 12-5pm

Exhibition Tours:
Led by one of the photographers and a project researcher
Wed., Oct. 21,  5–6 pm
Thurs., Oct. 22,  4:15-5 pm
Fri., Oct. 23,  12:30-1:30 pm

This photography exhibition is a collection of 40 photographs taken by women in the Yongsan red-light district, Seoul, South Korea, who have worked and lived in the area for as long as 40 years. As part of the urban renewal project, the area is targeted for demolition. These photographs show us how personal histories are written onto the space and architecture of the red light district, and how it is home to these women who have lived on the margins of South Korean society.

Women in prostitution have largely been an invisible part of history and society in South Korea, reduced to mere statistics and stereotypes.Their voices are never heard in the decision-making process of national and local policies that have a direct impact on their lives – such as the 2004 Act for the Prevention of Prostitution and related Acts, and the demolition of red-light districts. This photography project is a way for these women to write their own history.

This exhibition is a part of Envisioning “Global Korea” from the Margins: Gender, Sexuality, and Social Transformation program organized by Wellesley College Womens’ Studies professor Sealing Cheng.


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