The Korean Revolutionary in Cuba: Joseph Juhn
What does it mean to be Korean? Is a person's Korean identity contingent on their birth on the Korean Peninsula, their parents’ ethnicity, or their ability to speak Korean?
100 years ago – this was an easier question to answer – a person self-identifying as Korean was likely born on the Korean Peninsula, to two ethnic Korean parents, and spoke Korean. But the complexity of Korean identity in the 21st century parallels the turbulence of Korea’s history in the 20th century: displacement of caused by Japanese colonialism, Stalin’s deportation of ethnic Koreans to Central Asia, Zainichi Koreans left in limbo after the second world war in Japan, and the migration of Koreans to the Americas in search of new opportunities.
Now there is a vast Korean diaspora around the world – and also a new multi-cultural Korean community in the Korean Peninsula. Our guest Joseph Juhn spent the last 3 years developing a documentary about one particular group: the Korean Cubans. His project focuses on the life of one Korean-Cuban in particular – Jeronimo Lim who fought alongside Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in the 1958 Revolution. "Jeronimo: An Untold Tale of Koreans in Cuba" premiers in South Korea on November 21, 2019.