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Disaster, Archive, and Image: Cultural Archiving of Disaster Memory

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2020, (68), pp.231-257
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2020..68.231
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : May 10, 2020
  • Accepted : June 6, 2020
  • Published : June 29, 2020

Hyun Seon Park 1

1서강대학교 트랜스내셔널 인문학 연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Beyond the apocalyptic events that mostly take place in the distant future, disasters are now in the midst of present life. Disaster is no longer a narrative, but a reality. This paper seeks to examine the political and aesthetic issues of how to record and remember disasters, as well as critical awareness of the disaster reality. This question leads to the following issues: Whose and for whom does the archive of social disasters and disasters contain memories? How can we imagine the political aesthetics of disasters so that the record of disasters can be an open image in the future's imagination beyond the current state of events centered on the identification and action? This paper aims to discuss the cultural practice of disaster memory by juxtaposing the instances of a disaster archive that actively utilizes various archiving practices and the works of a 21st century archive documentary that newly approaches social tragedy and disaster trauma. Considering archive fever embeded in the archive's modern history, the artistic work of archiving disaster memories has a special meaning of mnemonic practices. The paper argues that the characteristics of the disaster archive include the community of collective memory, the archiving practice of mourning, the place-specificity of the disaster archive, and the aesthetic experiment of affective memory. The second half of the paper looks at the filmic work of contemporary cultural artists who actively use disaster memories and archives to create new images and to remember the problems or disasters of our society from a new perspective. In particular, contemporary Korean documentary films dealing with the 2019 Yongsan Tragedy are remarkable in that they are approaching disaster memories by actively utilizing media footage and experimental devices.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.