On August 11th, the Korean American Voters’ Council held a press conference for the upcoming art exhibition “Come from the Shadows” at the Kupferberg Holocaust Holocaust Center. KAVC, in conjunction with the Holocaust Center in Queensborough Community College and various artists, is having an art exhibition to educate the public about the “Comfort Women” system and the Japan’s heinous war crime from August 15th, the Gwangbokjeol, to September 29th. The “Comfort Women” System is a euphemism for the women and girls who were forcibly put under sexual enslavement organized by the Japanese government during World War II. Approximately 100,000 to 200,000 women and girls who were as young as thirteen were raped up to thirty times a day under this system.
KAVC had organized a grassroots campaign in 2006 and 2007 for the passage of House Resolution 121, and succeeded in convincing the House to pass the resolution unanimously on July 30th, 2007. H. Res. 121 mandates the Japanese government to make a formal apology and compensations toward the victims of the “Comfort Women” system.
And in 2009, KAVC convinced the local political bodies to create a “Comfort Women” memorial in New Jersey and New York, and collected 2500 petitions which were presented to Bergen County, New Jersey. As a result, a memorial was created in Palisades Park, New Jersey.
c.f. KAVC website
KAVC came across the Kupferberg Holocaust Center in QCC and met Dr. Arthur Flug while campaigning for a memorial. The Holocaust Center is an organization that has distributed Holocaust related educational materials across the country. Few years ago, the center held a Nanjing Massacre exhibition funded by the Jewish community and published 5000 educational materials to be sent to schools and museums. Dr. Flug and KAVC decided to implement the same plan for the “comfort women” in 2010. They encountered monetary issues and struggled with shortage of time, but were able to get help from The Korean Council and House of Sharing, and is finally holding the exhibition.
At the press conference, KAVC expressed their wish to educate the public and the youths about the “comfort women,” and stated that the victims of the Holocaust and the “comfort women” system must work together to prevent another human rights violation in the future. The participating artists concurred.
KAVC plans to follow up on this exhibition and continue educating the public about the “comfort women.”