How can we critique the material conditions of unresolved conflicts in East Asia today? Drawing on Chen Kuan-hsing’s method, notably the tactic of “de–cold war” which involves confronting “the legacies and ongoing tensions of the cold war,” this panel proposes that visual archives and documentaries offer a privileged site for retracing the remainders of the faultlines carried over from past conflicts and tensions (Chen 2013, 4). While the previous literature has regarded visual archives as containers of semiotic information, this panel accentuates the gestural dimension of the visual in which its flow and stoppage operate to connect to what Benjamin called “the dialectical image.” According to Baumbach’s reading of Agamben, gesture can be understood as the “fragments of existence” captured by photographic arts that “we do not recognize but are nonetheless the nearest to us of all”— that is, gestures in the visual archives and documentaries of East Asia provide us with not only the “fragments of the past” but also “a new potential” for the present (Baumbach 2018, 259-265). Ogawa’s paper studies a Zainichi Korean activist-journalist’s testimony film archives to challenge the conventional approaches to archival films. Park investigates psychological warfare leaflets from the Korean War, positing them as the archival prototype for the cold war culture thereafter. Dogase examines the documentaries on Minamata disease, focusing on their stoppage of the flow of capitalistic desires. Kim investigates recent South Korean documentaries to trace how certain gestures are re-invited from the cold war past through found footage filmmaking.
Paper Presenter: Shota T. Ogawa – Nagoya University
Paper Presenter: Hyun Seon Park – Yonsei University
Paper Presenter: Masato Dogase – Nagoya University
Paper Presenter: Han Sang Kim – Ajou University