The term Diaspora comes from an ancient Greek word meaning ‘to scatter about’ and ‘to separate.’ The word was used to refer to the dispersion of Jews who left their homeland the Palestinian area and scattered throughout the world, and has been used as a term to refer to diverse categories of people including immigrants and exiles.Nowadays, the term expands its meaning to immigrants, refugees, and broadly to political persecutors and ethnic minorities who have formed their communities in foreign countries. Furthermore, the meaning includes the discourse introspecting possibilities and cracks created by minority on the border.
Us in the Boundary
It is often said that the world boundaries have been fallen apart. We can move freely towards the world and travel anywhere in the world. Recently, however, the policies and the issues in the international society are forming alert situations; separating us from the other, citizens from non-citizens, terrorists from non-terrorists, and the natives from the immigrants. We, living inside the boundaries, are standing in the world that might force to exile us, neglecting our land, our houses and our identities.
Beginning of Hospitality
We constantly imagine ‘the other.’ We talk about ‘the other’ through the media in our standards, and emphasize the differences between us and ‘the other.’ Moreover, we strengthen ‘our’ sense of unity by excluding ‘the other’ in society. This is the world full of discrimination and hatred towards ‘the other.’ It is time to need respect for differences in ‘the other.’ We are not wrong, but different beings and we all have our own stories. We need to be willing to listen to their stories.
Diaspora of Korea
Korea is not an island, but is surrounded by the sea on three sides, and its only geographical passage to the continent is blocked by the wall of history; Korean is an island other than the island. In this isolated Korean society, ‘Diaspora’ has a strange and difficult meaning. But there still exists Diaspora in your familiar and peaceful world that does not question your identity and ask questions. It is, therefore, important to have an attitude to look into the cracks and gaps created by the minority and to reflect on the attitude of co-existing in today’s Korea where a citizen may fall into a non-citizen in a moment as per demands and calls by the nation and power.
Diaspora and Incheon
What is the relationship between Diaspora and Incheon? Since Incheon opened the door to foreign countries in 1883, it has grown into a civilized city. When we look at the modern and contemporary history of Korea, Incheon was the first city to receive modern civilization and has developed as an industrial and international city. In addition, since the first official Korean immigration to Hawaii began in 1902, Incheon started to have its identity as a diasporic city. The fifth Diaspora Film Festival will be held here in Incheon where there is a history of countless people who had to leave their homeland whether they wanted to leave or not. On a warm spring day, we hope you will have a time to embrace our and their histories, meanings and stories each other.