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Witnessing Gwangju
Price per Unit (piece): KRW 18,000
USD 13.20
Author: Paul Courtright, Robin Moyer, Choi Yong-ju
Publisher: Hollym
Pub. Date: May 2020
Pages: 208
Dimensions (in inches): 6.02 x 8.66 x 0.66
ISBN: 9781565914957
Language: English
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Author's note

South Korea
Gwangju and jeonnam Province


Day 1(Wednesday, May 14)
Demonstration curiosity for the uninitiated

Day 2(Thursday, May 15)
Demos are neither won nor lost

Day 3(Friday, May 16)
Good to be heading home

Day 4(Saturday, May 17)
Getting back to normal

Day 5(Sunday, May 18)
Disturbing rumors streak across the sky

Day 6(Monday, May 19)
Something awful happened here

Day 7(Tuesday, May 20)
Getting marching orders and the last bus home

Day 8(Wednesday, May 21)
You can push people only so far

Day 9(Thursday, May 22)
The mundane and the crazy can easily coexist in the middle of an uprising

Day 10(Friday, May 23)
We are all "impure elements"

Day 11(Saturday, May 24)
Translating in a mortuary

Day 12(Sunday, May 25)
Is there peace to be found heading over the mountain?

Day 13(Monday, May 26)
Losing my temper and heading to Seoul



Young Peace Corps volunteer, Paul Courtright was helping leprosy patients in the countryside of South Korea 1980. He enjoyed cooking eggs and listening to music. On his way back home from his medical checkup, he got caught in the middle of Gwangju massacre. Between Peace Corps policy and frustration, He couldn't stop writing notes about what he was witnessing. It was the only way he could process what he was seeing. 〈Witnessing Gwangju〉 is based on his massive amount of notes. This memoir is not only the record of Gwangju uprising but also a great story of how the incident changed a young man's life in a very short period of time.

“We have no voice. You have to be our voice. You have to tell people outside what they’re doing to us.” She glanced around the street, then returned her fearless gaze to me. I was rooted to the spot. I was to be the “witness” and she had given me a clear task. I failed the halmeoni. I was given a responsibility that now, forty years later, I can finally face. I hope I’m not too late. -From the Prologue-

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