1-5 April 2021
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Radicals and revolutionaries: Korean women in struggle


About this session

In 1916, Kim Aerim joined the RSDLP becoming the first Korean Bolshevik and Communist. Aerim, who was also known as Alexandra Kim, would be sent by Lenin in 1917 to head up the External Affairs of the Far Eastern Department for the Party and to organise and mobilise other Koreans against the White Army and US imperialist forces determined to overthrow the Russian Revolution. Kim would be captured and executed by the White Army who over ran Khabarovsk in September 1918. Facing torture and execution, she remained defiant and committed to the revolutionary struggle until her last breath.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s many more young woman would join both the revolutionary socialist movement and the anti-colonial struggle against Japan's brutal occupation of the Korean peninsula. Many gave their lives in struggle.

This talk will examine the lives and contribution of early Korean women revolutionaries and communists such as Kim Aerim, Hong Jo-suk, Kang Kyong-ae, Joo Se-juk, as well as radical Independence activist Yu Gwan-Sun and other anti-colonial activists such as Japanese born/Korean based Fumiko Kaneko.

Recommended Reading

Asia's Unknown Uprisings V1: South Korean Social Movements in the 20th Centuryby George Katsiaficas
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