Liberty in North Korea: Localizing The Jangmadang Generation with Globe

Sokeel Park, Director of Research and Strategy for Liberty in North Korea, tells us what it was like working with Globe to localize The Jangmadang Generation into eight languages, and shares the story of the documentary and LiNK’s mission.

North Korean society has undergone a quiet transformation since the 1990s famine that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and irrevocably changed the relationship between ordinary North Koreans and their government. North Korea’s urban youth in particular are at the forefront of these economic and information trends, and The Jangmadang Generation is the first documentary to share their perspectives, experiences, and hopes with an international audience. Through interviews with eight young North Koreans who have escaped to South Korea we hear untold stories of resilience, creativity and quiet rebellion in the most difficult of circumstances, including tales of teenage smuggling, covert entrepreneurialism and guerrilla marketing, and the ways by which illegal foreign media have opened the eyes of a new generation of North Koreans to alternative realities and the outside world.

Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) is an international NGO with full-time staff in the US, South Korea and Southeast Asia. To date, LiNK has helped over 800 North Korean refugees and their children reach safety and freedom through a 3,000 mile rescue route through China and Southeast Asia, to eventual resettlement in South Korea and the United States. LiNK also works to change the narrative on North Korea by bringing more attention to the human and social dimensions of North Korea and by promoting new ways of understanding and approaching the issue. LiNK has 300 student and community chapters around the world, mobilizing a global grassroots movement of support for the North Korean people.

MIIS Globe and the wonderful MIIS Translation students were a pleasure to work with and made a huge contribution to our cause by translating our documentary into eight languages. This massively increases the reach of our work and brings these incredible stories of North Korean refugees to non-English speaking audiences for the first time. We have already published the French and Spanish versions that MIIS students helped produce with Le Figaro and ABC respectively, and are planning to release the other language versions with major outlets in each media market. We cannot thank MIIS Globe enough, and would love to collaborate again in future!

Sokeel Park is the Director of Research and Strategy at LiNK. He joined the organization after working in the South Korean government, the United Nations, and diplomatic consultancy Independent Diplomat. His desire to work for the North Korean people brought him to LiNK, where he now leads all research and strategy work—building our understanding of North Korea, liaising with the media and external groups, and developing LiNK’s strategy and approach towards the issue.

Chad Vickery is a filmmaker and the creator of the documentary The Jangmadang Generation. Born and raised in Michigan, he studied media production and has worked independently on numerous film projects, small and large. He became involved with LiNK while living and teaching in South Korea. As a filmmaker, he hopes to convey the stories of hope that exist in the North Korean people.

Seo-Young Jun is a project manager and multimedia manager at Globe Multilingual Services, well-versed in a variety of different fields. Prior to MIIS, Seo-Young worked as a freelance filmmaker, producing media content for various clients, including marketing materials for corporates and startups. Outside of film, Seo-Young is passionate about languages, cultures, and technology. She strives to take her management and technical skills derived from her professional experiences and studies at MIIS, and merge them with her filmmaking knowledge, leveraging media and technology as her main tools to bring the world closer together.

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