• Sun 16 08 2020 / 2 – 3:30 pm •
Dear Dongpoh in Germany


In memory of the people’s uprising in Gwangju, South Korea, in May 1980, curator Binna Choi and artist Christian Nyampeta have created the exhibition Gwangju Lessons, through rematerializing some of the works of the People’s Art School from the collection of the 5·18 Archives. The School was initiated by artist Songdam Hong on the principle of self-organization and self-expression as a basic human right in the context of the democratic movement and its brutal suppression.

In response to the Gwangju uprising in 1980, acts of solidarity were also carried out in several other cities in the world. Signature campaigns and demonstrations took place in Cologne and in the then German capital Bonn, among other places. The solidarity movement was initiated by a politically and culturally active German-Korean community, which organized itself into clubs and associations and campaigned for the democratic self-determination and peaceful reunification of North and South Korea. On 16 August 1980 a demonstration took place at Roncalliplatz adjacent to Cologne Cathedral.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Cologne demonstration in support of the Gwangju uprising, the ADKDW brings together witnesses, commentators and successors of the movement for a discussion. Moderated by Nataly Jung-Hwa Han, the chairwoman of the Korea Verband in Berlin, curator Binna Choi will talk with Jong Hyun Rhee, the chairman of the organization Solidarity of Koreans in Europe, and Rainer Werning, a political scientist and publicist with a focus on Korea and the Philippines, about their experiences and memories of the 1980s in Gwangju, the Ruhr region, and the Rhineland.

What can we learn from history and how can we shape transnational political work and a culture of remembrance for the future?

Start: 2 pm
Language: German
Venue: Christuskirche, Dorothee-Sölle-Platz 1, 50672 Cologne
Free Admission

Due to the current situation we would like to ask you to register obligatorily for the event at or +49 (0)221-337748-0.

Gwangju Lessons is funded by Kunststiftung NRW.

The exhibition is part of MaytoDay, a special exhibition program hosted by the Gwangju Metropolitan City, the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Asia Culture Center and Asian Culture Institute to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement. MaytoDay is a collaboration between Gwangju Biennale Foundation, 5·18 Archives, May 18 Memorial Foundation, Akademie der Künste der Welt (Cologne), Art Sonje Center (Seoul) and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (Taipei).