WIP with Dr. John P. DiMoia


Dr. John P. DiMoia
Reading North Korea: What does North Korea Propanganda Reveal?
25th October 2012, Monday, 6.00pm

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Since South Korea’s popular culture and the /hallyu (K-wave) /phenomenon has attracted the attention of young people throughout East and Southeast Asia, what does its neighbour to the North have to tell us about contemporary life in northeast Asia?

Using film clips and propaganda images taken from a range of sources, this talk explores some of the dominant themes embedded in North Korean popular culture, arguing that underneath the official rhetoric of anti-American and anti-Japanese imagery, North Korea holds a strong sense of nostalgia for its own triumphs as a nation, including the period of successful reconstruction after the Korean War (1954-early 1960s) and the high tension present during much of the 1960s. With these materials, it is possible to glimpse the human, even playful, side of the “other” Korea, even as the North remains a state with an uncertain future.

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.