Friday, February 25, 2011

New Series - Also a First for Me

I have started a new series  the series will be called "38th Parallel: Exposing the Hermit".

For those that do not know, the 38th parallel is the line that created by the United Nations after Japan's defeat in WWII. North Korea has closed itself off from the rest of the world: internet, phone, tv, radio, aid (until recently when things have gotten so bad that they lifted their ban against accepting aid - though the US now refuses to send aid as most of it goes to the "Great Leader" and his army - not the people who have been starving.)

Because North Korea is so closed off, there is not a lot of information/news that comes out of it. There are many concentration/prison camps within it's border - but human rights groups are not allowed into them to verify the treatment of the prisoners. Very few prisoners ever get out, so there are few people who have made it out of the prisons then out of North Korea to tell the tales of what goes on there.

There are also the rumors - it's hard to confirm when you can't even get into the country. Rumors of glass walled gas chambers - to study the effect of different chemicals, etc on human beings. Stealing food (because you are starving) is punished with execution. People are now so bad off, they are sneaking to the woods to eat grass and tea bark to try and stop the hunger.

I have long been fascinated/appalled with the tales of Germany's WWII concentration camps. It's hard to imagine that such things happen. To know that there are similar "prisons" today, and that we are essentially doing nothing to help the people is a crushing blow.

I have begun a series dealing with my emotions over these concentration camps in North Korea. This is the first time I have ever dealt with anything political/humanitarian with my artwork. My only goals are to try and work through my feelings, and to bring the knowledge of some of these atrocities to the public.

I'm not sure where this will take me, or exactly how I will be approaching this yet, but I feel an intense need to work through the feelings of sadness, grief and frustration for the people trapped in the Hermit Kingdom.

No comments: