A man looks out from his shack as a luxury high-rise apartment complex is seen in the background at Guryong village in Seoul, South Korea, April 2, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

A man looks out from his shack as a luxury high-rise apartment complex is seen in the background at Guryong village in Seoul, South Korea, April 2, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

A recent story came out about the demolition of Seoul’s final slum – the Guryong slums in the Gangnam district. (Lot of people are shocked to hear that Seoul had/has slums). Unsurprisingly, all the stories, particularly from Western media portrayed this demolition as reason to celebrate – saving the slum dwellers from a living hell. Here’s the type of story we are referring to: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/04/us-southkorea-gangnam-shanty-idUSKBN0NP0HT20150504

Courtesy: Reuters

“I am scared that I will continue to live here and die here,” she said. “I want to die in a slightly better place.”

But, this is only a fraction of the story. No one wants to hear stories about the resilience of slums, especially in the context of the Seoul narrative – the rags to riches story of a once developing country exceeding global expectations to become an economic powerhouse.  The slum becomes a blemish on a clean transcript and a black eye to society.

The story that goes untold is the one of armed men (probably sent by land grabbers and government officials) marching into the slums, putting fear into the residents and warning of demolition. There is no concern for what happens after demolition, convincing the average reader that life somehow will be better for these displaced individuals. See what’s going on here: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/02/116_173154.html

Courtesy: Korea Times

We are committed to sharing the other side of the story and standing with those that are victimized and exploited. #slumsmatter