Abstract

Abstract:

This article asks how to understand the appearance of the elderly female villagers of Miryang as an unprecedented group of protestors who emerged in the struggle against the Korea Electric Power Corporation's construction of a 765,000-volt transmission line. Nicknamed Miryang Halmaedŭl (Grannies of Miryang), these villagers were the face and center of the protest to which the national-scale audience or public responded, gathering together to create an extraordinary type of environmental movement. I argue that Miryang Halmaedŭl are the visual embodiment of resistant culture under the neo-developmental state, and that the key feature of this culture is political consciousness against the principle of spatial dispossession as the basis of the state. Adopting an ethnographic approach from the field of media production studies, this article analyzes how the protest participants' production of various meanings of Miryang Halmaedŭl is integrated with the rise and fall of the protestors' sit-in sites in fields and mountains as alternative spaces. The article discusses the potential of a social relation across rural and urban areas based on opposing space as the condition for the emergent counter-culture against the neo-developmental state that has not retreated, despite its fluctuating hegemony.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1529
Print ISSN
0145-840X
Pages
pp. 40-67
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-08
Open Access
No
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