Heung | 흥 Coalition
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Artist’s statement: This is a collage featuring a popular painting of the March 1st Movement in Korea. Originally portraying a rally of Korean independence protestors holding Korean flags, this collage has replaced all of the taegeukgi with Palestinian flags. I felt compelled to create this image in light of the various reactions the world over to the ongoing and currently worsening tragedies of the region of Palestine. In producing this image, the goal was not to gesture towards some sort of equivocation of the Japanese occupation of Korea with the ongoing crisis of Palestinians. The inspiration behind this image comes from a brief interaction I had with a Korean auntie who came alone to a Nakba rally run by the Palestinian Youth Movement in Toronto in the year 2021. She held two cardboard signs, one of which said “Free Palestine” and another that said “Koreans know occupation.”. That moment left me with a powerful impression and enabled me to begin new dreams of the possibilities for/of solidarity. This collage is an effort to dream an image of Koreans fighting for Palestinians.
Heung Coalition unequivocally supports the struggle for Palestinian self-determination and decolonization.
As of October 16, 2023, at least 2,778 Palestinian people have been killed in retaliatory air strikes in the Gaza Strip (Gaza Ministry of Health), launched as collective punishment for Palestinian armed resistance to Israeli apartheid (Amnesty International), in which more than 1,400 Israeli people were killed (Associated Press).
There are growing concerns that the State of Israel is now committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza (@IMEU; @jvpny). Entire families and neighbourhoods have been murdered by missile strikes in residential areas (@gazangirl; @ramzybaroud). Food, fuel, water, and electricity have been cut off (Human Rights Watch). At midnight on October 12, 2023, the State of Israel ordered all residents out of northern Gaza, an impossible evacuation given the destruction of roads, cutting off of fuel, and the number of children, elderly, disabled, and wounded people in the north (UN OHCR; World Health Organization; Amnesty International). As residents attempted to flee, some were targeted in missile strikes and killed (@IMEU; @gazangirl). The Israeli Defense Force has stated that thousands of reservists are being mobilized for a ground invasion of Gaza (Israeli Defense Force), even as Internet outages and the targeting of journalists severely restrict coverage of what is happening within the Gaza Strip (@NetBlocks; @NetBlocks; Le Monde). On October 17, 2023, the State of Israel bombed the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital in Gaza, murdering at least 500 people, including children, patients, and healthcare workers (@wissamgaza). This confirms a statement by Israeli Holocaust scholar Raz Segal on October 13, in which Segal described the actions of the State of Israel in Gaza “as a textbook case of genocide unfolding in front of our eyes” (Raz Segal). The unabated violence, fueled by the blood-stained colonial allegiance of the West and the State of Israel has also spread to the diaspora (Council of Islamic-American Relations). On October 14, 2023, six year old Palestinian-American boy Wadea Al-Fayoume and his mother were attacked in their home in Plainfield Township, Illinois by their landlord fueled by anti-Palestinian extremism broadcasted throughout western media. Wadea was murdered and his mother seriously injured.
We urge people everywhere to take immediate action against genocide in Gaza.
As members of Heung Coalition, we particularly address Korean people. The Nakba in Palestine and the division of the Korean peninsula occurred in the same year, backed by similar interests. Eyewitness accounts and documentary evidence of Gaza in 2023 continue to show parallels between violence wreaked on Palestinian people and Palestinian lands and the impacts of war in Korea. Today, many Korean people live in diaspora communities in the US, UK, and Canada, states which have all staunchly supported violence against Palestinians by funding and supporting the Israeli military. South Korea itself has been deeply connected with the State of Israel for decades, even as some Korean people — both within and outside of South Korea — have mobilized to support freedom for Palestine (Palestine Peace and Solidarity Seoul).
As students, writers, translators, and, most importantly, community members in and beyond the Korean diaspora committed to decolonization for a different Korea and a different world, our calls for liberation from the clutches of US imperialism and militarism resonate with the resounding voices of freedom– from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.
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