Hong Saihwa Hong (Hong Sehwa), one of the most prominent figures in progressive movement in South Korea, will speak at York University on 19 April 2017.
An educator, author and journalist, Hong received a Baccalaureate in Political Science and International Relations from Seoul National University (1977). His membership of the Preparation Committee for Nam-Chosun People’s Liberation Front forced him and his family to seek political asylum in France in 1979.
He returned to Seoul after two decades, where he worked as planning fellow at Hankyoreh Sinmun and editor at Le Monde Diplomatique Korea in the first decade of the twenty-first century. His autobiographical book I am a Taxi Driver in Paris (1995) resonated with a wide readership as a sincere account of the diasporic experience and progressive intellectualism.
He was the leader of New Progressive Party in South Korea (2011-2012) before the party was dissolved to form the Labor Party, where he currently serves as advisor. He is also actively involved in wide-ranging projects such as Chair of May, which commemorates the Kwangju democratic movement in 1980, and Jean Valjean Bank, a grassroots safety-net program that provides loans without interest or a guarantor to prisoners who cannot afford bail.
His talk, ‘Is a Progressive Leftist Party Possible in a Divided Nation? The Case of the Labor Party in South Korea,’ will be held in Room 802, South Ross Building at 3pmon 19 April 2017.
His talk is part of YCAR’s Korea in Asia series and is co-sponsored by Hope 21.