Statue of Peace in Seoul
By Jade •
The Statue of Peace in Seoul, South Korea, is among the most iconic and contested statues dedicated to ‘comfort women’, a euphemism for women who were sexually exploited by the Japanese military during the Second World War. Since its unveiling in 2011, the statue has been a source of ongoing contention in Japan-South Korea relations and has resulted in a proliferation of replica statues around the world. This case study examines the emotive power of public monuments to convey historical injustices and their potential for impacting diplomatic relations at the highest levels of government. This case also brings to the fore the power of activists and communities to use local public spaces to send messages that reverberate internationally.