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Issue Details: First known date: 2022... 2022 Naming (Next Thoughts on What Poets Do)
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'We are on Ulleungdo, famed for its wild mountains that jut from the Eastern Sea more than one hundred kilometres from the Korean east coast, shockingly, like a stone fist smashing wetly into the echelons. This is the closest sovereign territory to the contested landmass, 독도 (Dokdo), some ninety kilometres further east and otherwise known as ‘the Liancourt Rocks’ (this moniker derived from a French whaling ship, Le Liancourt, which foundered on the islands in 1849), or ‘Takeshima’ (Japan). I am here with more than a dozen Korean artists – painters, composers, art directors, musicians – awaiting tomorrow’s ferry to 독도. This year’s group assembles, as groups of creative producers have done so annually under the auspices of the para-political lobby group, La Mer et l’Île, to make pilgrimage to 독도 and refocus a global conversation: our brief is to simply sit on the islands, reflectively, and allow art to materialise. Perhaps this is partly how soft power can operate, non-dogmatically, through casting into representational modes (language, etc.) in order to explore for something beyond the merely descriptive but perhaps, even, essential: a newer way of seeing, arising through coming to terms with newer ways of saying and stating. The historical documents do not need to be reframed, and have long referred to these islands. One of the earliest, the 세종실록 (or ‘Chronicle of King Sejong’ [1432]), mentions a sole rocky outcrop being visible from the top of Ulleungdo’s mountains ‘only during fine weather’. Despite the existence of this and a great many other documents that form the canon of Korean sovereignty, neighbouring states continue to contest and claim 독도 as their own, for their own politically complex reasons. How to act as a poet, then, and make a non-propagandistic suite that will speak clearly and without bias.' (Introduction)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon New Writing vol. 19 no. 1 2022 23771064 2022 periodical issue 2022 pg. 54-67
Last amended 4 Feb 2022 14:09:49
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