Reencounters shifts the focus of the Korean War from the extraordinary to the ordinary. Crystal Baik assembles an interdisciplinary archive of diasporic memory works including oral history projects, time-based performances, and video installations that activate reencounters with the Korean War.
She explores the persistence of the post–Korean War militarized division, the racialized and gendered ramifications of the war, and ideologies of national belonging and political citizenship in both Korea and the Korean diaspora.
Baik shows how Korean refugee migrations are repackaged and how transnational adoptees are reclaimed by the South Korean state as welcomed “returnees.”
Reencounters also considers how militarized colonial outposts such as Jeju Island are recalibrated into desirable tourist destinations and the troubling ways North Korea is both mocked and portrayed as evil in American media.
Baik argues that as the works by Korean and Korean/American artists depict this Cold War historiography, they also offer opportunities to remember otherwise the continuing war.
Ultimately, Reencounters wrestles with questions of the nature of war, racial and sexual violence, and neoliberal surveillance in the twenty-first century.
*Book description from publisher