by Chang-Jin Lee

[April 5, 2013]

6PM to 8PM

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan



Chang-Jin Lee's video artwork, COMFORT WOMEN WANTED, brings to light the memory of 200,000 young women, referred to as "comfort women," who were systematically exploited as sex slaves in Asia during World War II, and increases awareness of sexual violence against women during wartime. The video is based on interviews with Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Indonesian, Filipino, and Dutch “comfort women” survivors and a former Japanese soldier from W.W.II.

The title, COMFORT WOMEN WANTED, is a reference to the actual text of advertisements which appeared in Asia newspapers during the war. When advertising failed, young women from Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Netherlands were kidnapped or deceived and forced into sexual slavery. Most were teenagers, some as young as 12 years old, and were raped by as many as fifty soldiers a day at military rape camps, known as "comfort stations." By some estimates only 30% survived the ordeal. The "Comfort Women System" is considered the largest case of human trafficking in the 20th century.

Historian Suzanne O'Brien has written that "the privileging of written documents works to exclude from history...the voices of the kind of people comfort women represent - the female, the impoverished, the colonized, the illiterate, and the racially and ethnically oppressed. These people have left few written records of their experiences, and therefore are denied a place in history." COMFORT WOMEN WANTED attempts to bring to light this instance of organized violence against women, and to create a constructive dialogue for the future by acknowledging their place in history.







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