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Diane Lee '18, English

From Dirt to Mud

This summer I expanded on previous work centered on the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945). Where previously I had focused on the impact on my family, I broadened my approach to the way it had affected other individuals, particularly women. I was especially concerned with the issues of comfort women (women taken as sexual pleasure for the Japanese military) and resistance workers due to the ways in which their stories are minimized by national and global narratives. Over the summer, I conducted literary research and on-site visits in South Korea to try to better understand these experiences. My poetry deals with the ways in which women were abused, attempts to avoid sugercoating the reality of their lived horrors, and sits, as a result, uncomfortably. This project tries to share their stories with a larger audience to prevent their disappearance.