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'4.3 Trauma, Seeking Healing'The 63rd Anniversary National Conference
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승인 2011.05.13  16:29:21
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▲ More than 100 people attended the April 29 conference in Jeju City. Photo by Anne Hilty.

The quest for Jeju's healing from the trauma of 1948 continues.

On April 29, the Jeju 4.3 Peace Foundation sponsored a national conference on the topic of the 1948 trauma and ongoing efforts toward healing titled “4.3 Trauma, Seeking Healing.” More than 100 people were in attendance, including many community leaders, local and mainland scholars, and members of the press.

The two-day event consisted of a one-day conference held at Hotel Neighborhood in Shin-Jeju, with a site visit to the 4.3 Peace Park on the following day.

▲ Conference-goers and the public walk around the 4.3 Peace Park Memorial Hall on April 30. Photo by Anne Hilty.
▲ Artwork on display at the 4.3 Peace Park Memorial Hall on April 30. Photo by Anne Hilty.

Following introductory remarks, the Korean national anthem, and a moment of silence for the victims of this tragedy, scholarly presentations were delivered in four sections. Each included a presenter and a discussant.

The events of six decades ago were analyzed from the perspectives of history, psychology, psychiatry, and folk healing.

Professor Yuk Yeong-su, of Chungang University's department of history, presented on three types of trauma and healing. Followup discussion was delivered by Kim Gi-bong, professor of history at Gyeonggi University.

Dr. Hyeon Myeong-ho presented on the topic of anger and forgiveness from a psychological perspective; he is a professor at Chungang University. The discussant was Seo Gyeong-heon of Sahmyook University.

Following this with a psychiatric perspective on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression was Dr. Kim Mun-du of Jeju National University's School of Medicine. The discussant was Lee Yeong-mun, a specialist in medical human sociology at Aju University.

The final session was provided by scholar Moon Moo-byung of the Jeju Traditional Culture Institute, and the discussant was Dr. Kim Seong-nae of Sogang University's religious studies department. Their focus was on indigenous forms of healing with a particular view of Jeju's shamanic tradition.

Moderating all 4 sessions was Dr. Jeong Geun-sik of the sociology department at Sogang University.

In followup discussion, it was evident that all participating scholars and a majority of audience members were in agreement: the trauma of 1948 and the ensuing war years is far from over and yet to be adequately addressed.

In the afternoon session, first-hand accounts of the 1948 trauma were provided by a number of witnesses. Activists facilitated question-and-answer sessions following these testimonies.

On the following day, a small group of scholars visited the 4.3 Peace Park, where a scholar from the Foundation guided the group on a tour of the museum and memorial hall, providing detailed information.

The conference was co-sponsored by the Jeju 4.3 Peace Foundation and Jeju 4.3 Research Institute.

Dr. Hilty is a cultural health psychologist.

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