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  • 00:26

    TOMMY TRAN on Jeju's Unregulated Growth

    in Travel

    Tommy Tran is a PhD student at the University of California at Los Angeles in the department of Asian Languages and Cultures. His primary focus is urban ethnography in Korean Studies.

    In this interview he discusses what happens when Jeju Island, a former periphery of Korea, becomes a premier testing ground for development highlighting the contradiction between urban expansion and cultural and ecological preservation.

    He also speaks about his (extremely painful) 7 day, 150 km pilgrimage around the entire perimeter of Jeju (in straw sandals) in 2011 and his relationship with Korean Son Buddhism.

    You can read more about his work at his blog, Jeju Palimpsest:
    https://jinmunhak.wordpress.com

    Music on this episode is ???? with ?? (Banigeoulseu- Wave) circa early '80s. Watch their video on youtube at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL5hyxwUuRY

  • 00:25

    BROTHER ANTHONY: Korea's 20th Century

    in Travel

    Brother Anthony (???) is President of the Royal Asiatic Society of Korea, an academic organization which has participated in Korean intellectual and cultural life since 1900 . He`s also a scholar of Korean studies, a translator of Korean poetry and an expert on The Korean Way of Tea.

    In the 2nd of a two-part conversation he speaks about his work translating poet Ko Un (??), the changes he's witnessed firsthand in Korean society in the last 35 years and the unreality created by the division between the two Koreas.

    For more on Brother Anthony, visit his website at http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/

    For more on The Royal Asiatic Society of Korea visit http://www.raskb.com/

    This interview was recorded in Brother Anthony`s Sogang University neighbourhood office in December, 2014.

    Music on this episode: "Chuitaepyoung", Daegeum Solo, 1928

  • 00:24

    Jeju's 4.3 Massacre Remembered

    in Travel

    On April 3rd, 1948, Jeju Island was caught in a civil war-like time of violence and human rights abuses. This is when the period known as the Jeju Uprising and Massacre began.

    The Korea File spoke with participants at the Jeju 4.3 Commemorative Street Festival last Friday to hear their impressions of this tragic event in Jeju's history.

    Live music performances include Hallasanhoe's Songs for Jeju 4.3, Dedicated to 4.3/Antiwar Peace by the Parkbo Band and The Changwon Grandmothers Singing Group's songs from yesteryear with "Girls’ High School Days”.

    Activist/Artist Lee Do-hee's work can be found at http://www.doheelee.com

    The image for this episode is a still from the film '?? (Jiseul)', a semi-fictionalized account of the events of 1948 and after. A review on the award-winning film can be found at Koreana, a quarterly journal of Korean arts and culture at http://www.koreana.or.kr/months/news_view.asp?b_idx=3025&lang=en&page_type=list and the film is wildly available online.

    For a long read on Jeju's 4.3 tragedy see the official governmental document The Jeju 4·3 Incident
    Investigation Report at http://www.jeju43peace.or.kr/report_eng.pdf

    For a brief summarization, go to http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Jeju_Uprising

  • 00:26

    FANCY MAN live show + interview

    in Travel

    Fancy folk trio FANCY MAN on playing in Jeju's music scene, using the school music room as a practice space and the joys of sharing a teaching gig with your bandmates.

    You can find more music and videos including Christmas Card From Korea (part 2) at http://www.timothycushing.com/

    This interview and live performance was recorded at Jeju City's Magpie Brewing Co. on 2/20/2015.

  • 00:20

    BROTHER ANTHONY has eclectic interests

    in Travel

    Brother Anthony, or ???, is President of the Royal Asiatic Society of Korea (http://www.raskb.com/), an academic organization which has participated in Korean intellectual and cultural life since 1900 . He`s also a scholar of Korean studies, a translator of Korean poetry and an expert on The Korean Way of Tea.

    In the first of a two-part conversation he speaks about the Society's history and it's relationship with the country, discusses his 37 years as a member of Seoul`s academic community and reflects on his life as a member of the Taizé monastic order.

    For more on Brother Anthony, visit his website at http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/

    This interview was recorded in Brother Anthony`s Sogang University neighbourhood office in December, 2014.

    Music on this episode: "Gayageum Sanjo Variation", Hwang Byeonggi (1966)

  • 00:25

    BEN SPENCER: Chuja Exit Interview

    in Travel

    Ben Spencer made it through 6 months on the biggest hardship posting in Korea's EPIK public school program, the rapidly shrinking fishing community of 2000 on Chuja Island, 2 hours north-west of Jeju by ferry.

    I spoke with him in October and agreed to catch up again at the end of his contract to see how he had maintained morale and motivation in such an isolated environment.

    In this exit interview two days prior to leaving Korea forever and returning to life, love and home in Ireland, Spencer speaks about life in a one industry community, Chuja's lack of self-sufficiency and why he ended his teaching contract early. He also expands on some Chuja-related topics established by The Jeju Weekly article 'And You Thought Jeju Was Remote' from August, 2009.

    Spencer's intriguing and articulate prose on Chuja life can be found at OBSERVATIONS FROM THE COUNTRYSIDE at https://countryobservations.wordpress.com/ and his earlier writings can be found at SPENCER COTTAGE INDUSTRIES at https://spencersteaandsympathy.wordpress.com/

    Music on this episode courtesy of '60s Korean girl-group THE PEARL SISTERS. An explainer on the group from kpopstarz.com: http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/81483/20140227/pearl-sisters-hate-it.htm

    A link to The jeju Weekly article can be found here:
    http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=179

  • 00:20

    MICHAEL BREEN: Origins of the Korean War

    in Travel

    Michael Breen has been working in Korea for more than 30 years as a journalist with The Guardian, The Korea Times and others. He's the author of 'The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want and Where Their Future Lies' and the CEO of Insight Communications Consultants.

    In the first of a two-part interview he discusses what brought him to South Korea, the Origins of the Korean War and the work of Korean Historian Bruce Cummings.

  • 00:23

    TBS 101.3FM journalist CHANCE DORLAND

    in Travel

    On this episode: musician and journalist Chance Dorland on the ups and downs of being a working journalist in Seoul and how the Peacecorps nearly (literally) killed him.

    Check out Chance's work online at http://www.seoulitup.com/, and at groovekorea.com, download his podcast 'Chance and Dan Do Korea' on iTunes and listen to him live on the airwaves with his segment 'Chance Encounters' Monday Through Friday from 18:10-20:00 on TBS 101.3 FM's 'Primetime' in Seoul.

    A recording of music from this episode, 'Korea, Here We Come' by Harry Choates, can be found at authentichistory.com.

  • 00:32

    RUTH MINNIKIN live show + interview

    in Travel

    Ruth Minnikin is a Canadian singer-songwriter formerly of The Heavy Blinkers, Booming Airplanes and The Guthries and Reels. She now performs as Ruth Minnikin and her Bandwagon on Jeju Island and around Korea.

    She received nominations for Best Female Album and Best Folk Album at the 2007 Nova Scotia Music Awards and has performed at the East Coast Music Awards, South by Southwest, and North by Northeast and has contributed to 45 recordings in collaboration with other artists.

    She had this to say about her latest record 'The Minnikins' Photo Album', released before leaving Nova Scotia 2 years ago:

    "Undeniably my heart was swollen as I wrote, but I daydream that my next bout of inspiration comes from love, salt water and the children I will teach on Jeju Island over the next year. Or, the waves on The East China Sea may swell into sounds of longing and heartache for Canada, the Atlantic Ocean and it’s folks-"

    This interview and live performance were recorded the weekend of 01.10.15 at Blue Hill in Jeju City.

  • 00:20

    BEN SPENCER is alone on Chuja island

    in Travel

    Ben Spencer came to Korea expecting modernity on steroids. What he got was the most isolated teaching post in the country--a sleepy fishing settlement on Chuja-do, a small group of islands in the Jeju Strait. He talks to The Korea File about adapting to loneliness and the idiosyncratic community he's found himself in.

  • 00:17

    THE BARBERETTES live show + interview

    in Travel

    The Barberettes are Seoul's premiere doo wop trio and self-described retro time travellers.

    Guitarist and vocalist Shinae An Wheeler spoke with The Korea File in late December, reflecting on the group's highly successful year and what 2015 holds for one of Seoul's hottest groups.

    With music from the Kim Sisters, Kang Soong-won and The Barberettes.

    This live acoustic performance from the Barberettes is from a special year-end set with Korean folk legend Kang Soong-won at Strange Fruit in Hongdae.