- English below
- ARCHIVES AUDIOVISUELLES D’ADOPTÉ.E.S’ ARCHIVES (1988-2015)
- COMMISSAIRE CURATOR: KIMURA BYOL-NATHALIE LEMOINE
- 18 NOVEMBRE 2015 (19 h 30) – NOVEMBER 18th (7:30 pm)
On connaît les fictions « grand public » Berlin Report (Park Kwang-su, Corée du Sud, 1991), Susan Brinks Arirang (Jang Gilsu, Corée du Sud, 1991), Secret and Lies (Mike Leigh, Angleterre, 1996), Holly Lola (Bertrand Tavernier, France, 2004), Va, vis et deviens (Radu, Mihailenu, Israël, 2005), Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Park Chan-wook, Corée du Sud, 2005), Une vie toute neuve (Ounie Lecomte, France/Corée du Sud, 2009), I love you Philip Morris (Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, États-Unis, 2009), Couleur de Peau Miel (Jung, Belgique/France, 2012).
Bien que les films des réalisatrices Sophie Bredier (France, Nos traces silencieuses, La tête de mes parents), Tammy Chu (États-Unis, Searching for Gohyang, Resilience), Deann Borshay (États-Unis, First Plural Person, In the matter of Cha Junghee) soient de bons documentaires sur le sujet, j’ai choisi de privilégier une sélection de films expérimentaux sur l’identité de personnes adoptées trans-racialement et/ou trans-nationalement en Amérique du Nord et en Europe qui donne une idée de cette expérience unique.
Adoption – mihee-nathalie lemoine, Belgique, 1988, expérimental, Super 8mm, 7:30
Une adoptée écrit une lettre à sa mère biologique où elle décrit ses sentiments dans sa société d’adoption.
Âme Noire – Martine Chartrand, Canada, 2000, animation, 9:47
Un jeune garçon retrace ses racines à travers les histoires que lui partage sa grand-mère sur les événements qui ont façonné leur patrimoine culturel.
Martine Chartrand est réalisatrice et écrivaine, connue pour Âme noire (2000), T.V. Tango (1992) et MacPherson (2012). Ses animations nous plongent au cœur de l’histoire et de la culture noire.
From Billie… to me… and back again – Dana Inkster, Canada, 2002, expérimental, 4:20
Une demande musicale tard dans la nuit lance un paysage de rêve nocturne.
Dana Inkster est productrice indépendante et travaille dans le milieu culturel. Basé sur la pratique narrative du conte, son travail comprend de courtes vidéos et des documentaires pour la télévision dont 24 Days in Brooks, de l’ONF Canada, pour lequel elle a reçu un Prix Gémeaux.
First step with you – Adel KSK, France, 2004, expérimental, 2:35
Des vaches et leurs nouveau-nés dans une ferme. La nature choisit qui est valide ou non. Un des veaux n’est pas « bien formé » et n’arrive pas à se lever. L’agriculteur apparaît bientôt, charge le veau dans une remorque et part. La mère réalise ce qui se passe; comment réagira-t-elle ?
Adel KSK est une artiste multidisciplinaire basée à Lille et diplômée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes. Elle poursuit ses recherches à travers la vidéo, la performance, la peinture et l’installation et est membre d’Orientity et de KAD-SISO, un regroupement international d’artistes.
Travelguide & Category – Anna Jin Hwa Borstam, Suède, 2002-2004, animation, 1:00 & 2:30
Travelguide affiche les statistiques officielles du ministère coréen de la Santé et des Services sociaux sur les endroits où vont les adoptés transnationaux, entrelacées avec des images amateurs sud-coréennes. L’animation affichage des aspects plus émotionnels de la condition d’adopté coréen. Category est un collage vidéo d’histoires d’adoption parues dans les médias suédois au début des années 2000. Est-ce que les histoires des autres vous aident à raconter votre propre histoire ?
Anna Jin Hwa Borstam a été adoptée en Suède en 1979 et a étudié à l’Académie des Beaux-Arts d’Umeå. Artiste multimédia maintenant basée à Malmö, Borstam a co-fondé l’UFOlab (2004). Son travail plus récent est inspiré de la vie quotidienne de ses voisins.
Watch Hair – KimSu Theiler, États-Unis, 2008, expérimental, 2:21
Combien de temps ? C’est la question. Combien de temps faut-il pour que vos cheveux poussent ? Pouvez-vous utiliser cette mesure pour savoir pendant combien de temps vous avez fait quelque chose ? Dans Watch Hair, la cinéaste se filme tous les jours pendant plus de quatre mois pour créer une vidéo en accéléré et essayer de savoir combien de temps elle a passé en orphelinat quand elle avait quatre ans en Corée.
Theiler a été adoptée à Long Island, New York, en 1975. La seule chose qui ait été constante est l’énorme impact que les films ont eu sur elle.
5 par jour – Jun Cordon, France, 2013, fiction, 5:07
Un bébé coréen, une hôtesse de l’air. Elle semble chercher quelque chose, mais quoi ? Un signal sonore, un panneau électronique d’aéroport, les couples passent, les enfants attendent leur tour.
Jun Cordon, né en 1973 et adopté en 1975, commence en 2005 à réaliser des courts métrages qui reflètent une révolte contre l’injustice et interrogent sur les racines et la finitude de l’homme.
Double Eyelid Tape Tutorial (for Monolids of Steel) – kate-hers RHEE, Allemagne, 2015, 4:13
Cette vidéo est une parodie des tutoriels sur YouTube. Cette vidéo utilise les commentaires révélateurs des utilisateurs de nombreux tutoriels, tout en remettant en question la nature problématique du look orientaliste au croisement du genre et de la race. La musique est un remake de l’aria Habanera de Carmen (Bizet) qui met en évidence l’appropriation de la musique classique de tradition européenne par la popstar coréenne Park Ji-yoon en 1997.
kate-hers RHEE est une artiste visuelle en nouveaux médias basée à Berlin et Détroit. RHEE se considère Coréenne-américaine transnationale avec une tendance allemande. Elle s’intéresse à la nature complexe du fiasco de l’identité, à la dislocation culturelle et aux interactions sexuées.
Combination Lock Faux – Nari Baker, Corée du Sud, 2012, expérimental, en boucle
Une serrure comprend un compte à rebours jusqu’à la carte nationale d’identité de la mère biologique de Baker. Baker a la clé qui pourrait débloquer son passé et ouvrir une porte sur des retrouvailles. Malgré qu’il possède cette clé, sa mère biologique refuse une rencontre.
Nari Baker est née à Incheon et a immigré aux États-Unis en tant que personne adoptée en 1983. Ses installations explorent les politiques de migration et d’adoption transnationale, la redéfinition des intersections de la mémoire/fantaisie et de la puissance/sacrifice et la récupération de la maison, de l’histoire et de la communauté diasporique. Baker est aussi professeure de yoga pour des prisonniers et mère d’un enfant.
Commentaires de la viédo de kate-hers RHEE
Mostly Dave : Superbe présentation, mais je me perds dans la procédure. J’aime les visages asiatiques, spécialement les yeux. Je pense que les hommes Occidentaux qui sont attirés par les femmes asiatiques pensent comme moi.
Khadija_ab : c’est la première fois que j’apprends que les Asiatiques mettent ça sur leurs yeux ! WOW
Laura Yepes : Ceci est supposé rendre les yeux ‘non-Asiatiques ?’ je me demande…
GenJenJenne : Spécifiez ‘non-Asiatique’ Si tu veux dire que les Asiatiques utilisent ça pour avoir des paupières à double-pli alors vous avez tord parce que c’est possible pour les Asiatiques d’avoir un double-pli aux paupières. Je veux dire touts les Asiatiques ont des double-pli. Je veux dire tous les Asiatiques même ceux de l’Asie de l’Ouest/Inde.
videomaster241 : la beauté asiatique est la meilleure des beautés J Au fait, je suis célibataire.
Lele V. : La plupart des Asiatiques (la plupart en Asie et quelques autres pays) veulent des paupières à double-pli parce que c’est le standard de beauté.
MichelleAeris : Tu es belle comme tu es, tu n’as pas besoin de cette chose.
Sol lizano : Dieu merci, j’ai des paupières à double-pli.
AlwaysStarGlaze1 : Pourquoi les gens assument que les asiatiques veulent être des blancs. Quand (un.e) Blanc.he veut des paupières plates et essaie d’en avoir et quand il se bronze la peau, c’est ok. Mais quand une asiatique utilise un adhésif pour paupières à double-pli, elles sont les mauvaises ? Chienne, aucuns de nous Asiatiques veulent être Blanc. Certains le veulent mais juste se faire des paupières à double plis ne veut pas dire blanc.
Keith Ho : Pourquoi ne pas avoir une chirurgie des paupières. Seulement quelques centaines de dollars en Thaïlande.
TheLongShot1982 : DIEU QUE TU ES ADORABLE, MERCI POUR RENDRE LES FILLES ‘HOT’ ENCORE PLUS HOT.
Sxx4i5h : Je ne comprends pas ! tu ressembles toujours à une Asiatique ? Quel est le but ?
LorryTheUltraTory : Haha stupides Asiatiques qui essaient d’être des Blancs… triste, elles se détestent…
Guy Forget : Exactement, ça n’a aucun sens pourquoi les filles asiatiques veulent avoir des paupières à double-pli parce qu’elles pensent que ça les rend plus belles ou sexy ou avoir de plus grands yeux ? Mais le vraie raison pourquoi les gens aime les Asiatiques c’est parce que la différence de leurs yeux à paupières plates.
GothikQueen : Pourquoi ferais-tu ça ? Je suis tellement jalouse des filles Asiatiques. Je pense qu’elles sont belles et exotiques à cause de leurs yeux.
Daniqua Chen : Nous en tant qu’asiatiques nous devons nous aimer. C’est juste une autre pute. Cette pute est juste une autre qui se déteste et a subit un lavage de cerveau par les blancs ! Baise-la.
givideo.org – starkimproject.com – adopteeculturalarchives.wordpress.com
We know the Korean mainstream films: Berlin Report (Park Kwang-su, S/Korea, 1991), Susan Brinks Arirang (Jang Gilsu, S/Korea, 1991), Secret and Lies (Mike Leigh, England, 1996), Holly Lola (Bertrand Tavernier, France, 2004), Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Park Chan-wook, S/Korea, 2005), A Brand New Life (Ounie Lecomte, France/S-Korea), I love you Philip Morris (Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, USA, 2009), Approved for adoption (Jung, Belgium-France, 2012)
Since filmmakers Sophie Bredier (France, Nos traces silencieuses, La tête de mes parents), Tammy Chu (USA, Searching for Gohyang, Resilience), Deann Borshay (USA, First Plural Person, In the matter of Cha Junghee) are good documentaries on the subject. In not choosing documentary style film, I want to overview short experimental films and videos over 25 years. This program introduces experimental shorts by trans-racial or/and trans-national adoptees in North America and Europe who creatively express their unique experience. WARNING: racist content
Adoption – mihee-nathalie lemoine, Belgium, 1988, experimental, Super 8mm, 7:30
A Korean adoptee writes a letter to her birth mother and describes her feelings in her adoptive society.
montreal-based, korean-born french speaker belgian, multimedia artist (painter, poet, filmmaker) and activist (for adoptees’ rights) is the co-founder of E.K.L, KameleonZ, Han Diaspora, G.O.A’L. and Orientiy. kimura–lemoine wrote 55% Korean (2000), co-edited of O.K.A.Y. (2001-2008) and is co-editing a new anthology ‘Adoptee Film Book’. (2016)
Âme Noire – Martine Chartrand, Canada, 2000, animation, 9:47
A young boy traces his roots through the stories his grandmother shares with him about the events that shaped their cultural heritage.
Martine Chartrand is a director and writer, known for Black Soul (2000), T.V. Tango (1992) and MacPherson (2012). Her animated short dives us into the heart of Black culture with an exhilarating trip through history.
From Billie… to me… and back again – Dana Inkster, Canada, 2002, experimental, 4:20
A late night musical request launches a nocturnal dreamscape.
Dana Inkster has worked as an independent producer and cultural marketer. Her portfolio is based on the age old practice of storytelling and includes short videos and broadcast documentaries including the Gemini nominated and award-winning NFB of Canada production 24 days in Brooks.
First step with you – Adel KSK, France, 2004, experimental, 2:35
Cows and new born calves in a farm. The nature decides who is available or not. One of the calve is not “well formed.” He can’t stand up. Soon the farmer appears and loads the calve in a trailer and leaves. The mother cow realizes what is happening… how will she react?
Adel KSK is a Lille-based multi-disciplinary artist graduated from the Rennes Fine Art School. She pursuits her research through with videos, performances, painting and installation art and is a member of Orientity art group and KAD-SISO, an international artist group.
Travelguide & Category – Anna Jin Hwa Borstam, Sweden, 2002-2004, animation, 1:00 & 2:30
Travelguide displays the official statistics from the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare of where the transnational adoptees ended up, interlaced with images from South Korea. The animation parts display the more emotional aspect of being a Korean Adoptee. Category is a video-collage of the stories about adoption that surfaced in Swedish media during the early 2000. Can other people´ stories help you to tell your own history?
Anna Jin Hwa Borstam was adopted to Sweden 1979. She attended Umeå Academy of Fine Arts. She is a mixed media artist now based in Malmö, Sweden and co-initiated UFOlab (2004). Her latest work was inspired by her neighbors daily life.
Watch Hair – KimSu Theiler, USA, 2008, experimental, 2:21
How long? That is the question. How long does it take for your hair to grow? Can you use that measure to ﬁgure out how long you were doing something? In this case, she films herself every day for over four months to create a time-lapse video segment to try to ﬁgure out how long she was in the orphanage when she was four years old in Korea.
5 par jour – Jun Cordon, France, 2013, fiction, 5:07
A Korean baby, a woman as stewardess. She seems to look for something but what? A sound signal, an airport electronic board, couples pass by, children wait for their turn.
Jun Cordon (born /1973, adopted/1975) started directing his first short films from 2005 though which come out the revolt against injustice, questioning about the roots and the finitude of man.
Double Eyelid Tape Tutorial (for Monolids of Steel) – kate-hers RHEE, Germany, 2015, 4:13
This video is a how-to-video parody, posing as a you-tube style beauty tutorial and utilizes revealing comments by you-tube viewers from the many tutorial videos already in existence, while calling into question the very problematic nature of (orientalist) lookism, at the crossroads of gender and race. The music is a remake of the opera aria, Habanera, originally from Carmen (Bizet) that highlights a European classical music tradition which has been appropriated by Korean popstar Park Ji-yoon in 1997.
kate-hers RHEE is a “new media” visual artist based in Berlin and Detroit. RHEE considers herself a transnational Korean-American with German persuasions. Her work reflects the complex nature of miscast identity, cultural dislocation, and gendered interactions.
Combination Lock Faux – Nari Baker, South Korea, 2012, experimental, en boucle
Combination Lock features a countdown in the order of Baker’s birth mother’s national ID number. It is designed to play on an infinite loop. Baker has the key that would supposedly unlock her past and act a portal to a reunion with her birth mother.
Nari Baker was born in Incheon and immigrated to the U.S. as an adoptee in 1983. Her installation explores the politics of transnational migration and adoption, re-visioning the intersections of memory/ fantasy and power/sacrifice, and reclaiming home, history and Diasporic community. Baker is also a prison yoga teacher and mother of one.
topovidéographies ARCHIVES AUDIOVISUELLES D’ADOPTÉ.E.S’ ARCHIVES (1988-2015)
—– Q & A —–
- Topographies: Adoptees’ Audiovisual Archives (1988-2015)
- Groupe Intervention Vidéo, Montéral
- 2015.11-18 – Q&A session
- with Kassaye, Esteban, Manu-Alix, Myungsook et kimura
Special thanks to Nirmala for editing my English translation!
Zeina – … It costs 15 000 dollars. Now with the war, it’s 1500 dollars for illegal international adoption from Lebanon. Yes, it starts with the child’s identity. The question now is with this money we can use it to prevent abandoned children instead of promoting adoption. It’s a question about ethics that we need to ask ourselves. I understand the desire of parents to want a child, but is that desire a right? That’s why now children who have experienced this talk about it and say maybe that was not a good solution for them and for their (birth) mother (that we don’t hear from too often) because we don’t see mothers here.
kimura – I choose films that were not documentaries. I have films that also talk about birth-mothers. In my film I talk to my birth-mother, There are films that talk a lot about birth-mothers, adoptive parents (Nos traces silencieuses/Sophie Bredier), the brother-sister relationship (Le scceau du dragon, Couleur de peau miel), the search (Closer), etc. But here I wanted to show movies that were creative, and there was a limited of time. There were two very interesting films ‘Cry Night: A rural Tragedy/Tracey Moffatt) where she talks about her aging/dying adoptive mother who she has to take care of. Moffatt is an Aboriginal adoptee I don’t know if you know about the ‘Stolen generation’, here in Canada and in Australia, part of the Commonwealth policies. I wanted to show her film but I couldn’t reach her agent. It would have been very interesting to screen it because it deals with the reality of a child adoptee becoming an adult. Even though there are still children to be adoptable. I want to show how as adults we build our identity. And for sure, some are more politicized, some are more artistic, some are more community-oriented. Some need to eat kimchi and get together, some need to go to the parliament to ask for rights, and there are some who are in a quest for their identity, biological or just to find their orphanage. There are many kinds of adoptees.
Kassaye – I like the point about adult adoptees that kimura said. I heard you saying ‘child.’ I think that adoptees are always infantilized. We are always considered as children but we are adults. Adoptee groups are very different here in Quebec with RAIS and L’Hybridé. There are groups in the States and a bit all over the world. We have hard time to be heard because of the adoption industry as Zeina was saying. It’s a bit complicated. I don’t want to talk about adoptive parents. I understand that everybody (well maybe not everybody) wants a family. Most of people want a family. And many people think it’s a good thing to adopt. I don’t want to get into that topic.
The circumstances of why we were adopted was because of poverty, single mothers, so it’s because of socio-political problems, war where families are separated and have no documents. They are labeled ‘orphans’ and are adopted. Like me… I am one of them. There are many circumstances. It’s very political. We, adopted, want to tell you about the political issues. Some adoptees like to talk about it, some have identity quests, racial issues too. When we are adopted in a white family, Blacks, Asians, or Native people, there are many cultural differences. You don’t necessarily have access to your identity. It’s very complex. We want to talk about that complexity, and to make you understand, listen, talk and write our own history. Because, now, the power is given away to agencies, professionals, but for us, it’s our life, so we are also professionals because of our experience. We are intellectuals, artists. We just want to take back our power, to take ours pace. Unclear- do you mean Our space? Our place?
Manu-Alix – You summarized it well. One of the points is our narrative. We are not against parents, nor adoption agencies, but we were children and are now adult, as you mentioned it. We all have experience. Some adoptees want to express themselves, others want to claim, others want to express their resistance or frustration. It depends on their experience, with adoptees I met trough L’Hybridé, an organization I co-founded for international adoptees. Sometimes, it’s what life brings you that makes you think differently. Whether it’s a mourning of a parent, the birth of a child, the return to your origins. And then, people start to question further than their own adoption, more about the international adoption and it will be some people who will never question anything or this (pick one) because they feel Quebecer or Swedish, whatever where they came from. So, I think it depends on personality and experiences. Often it’s easy, either to express or to listen from either a partner, family, adoption agencies, or the medias, facts that look like anecdotic (maybe anecdotal instead) like in the ‘Double eye-lid’ video. It’s funny, we laugh. Also Afro hair, it’s easy to understand. But problems and situations are a bit more difficult to manage, to express, and to listen to. I find those less talked about.
I am part of the Consultation Committee of the International Adoption Secretariat. We advise the Secretariat of the International Adoption of the Quebec Government on some issues in international adoption. It’s new that an adoptee is being part of this committee and it’s still hard to talk about those issues that are specific to adoptees. I think it’s an approach but there is still a taboo around the international adoption.
I want to mention something about birth mothers. What do we do with those mothers, with their parental love, about families who children have been probably taken away, and with the fact that they are not in peace with letting their kid being adopted or abandoned. There are all kinds of taboos not addressed. I think, in our own way, everyone is starting to take public space whether it’s in an artistic, political, way. I don’t know if the world is ready, or open to listen to these messages because they are difficult to hear because it’s a shared responsibility.
Esteban – It’s sure certain that everyone has a puzzle with missing pieces. When I met my birth family, I realized that I didn’t know them. I am from the Dominican Republic. I was sure I was Dominican. When I arrived I realized I was not. Here, I realize I am not Canadian either. So who am I? And many adoptees have this dilemma. Personally, I had it and still have it. When I Watch TV, I don’t see myself. When I read the newspaper, I don’t find myself in it. When I arrive in the Dominican Republic, I am walking, and they look at me. We can see that I am not Dominican. It’s for sure I don’t give off that. And when I am here, I don’t give off a guy who was born here. Often people will talk for us. Specialists will tell us how we feel, how we live that, etc. That’s totally false. Because they didn’t experienced it. If you were not insulted as ‘fat’, you can’t understand what it is like to be insulted as a ‘fat’ person. If you’ve never been insulted as ‘negro’, you can’t know what is racism. If every day you go to school and you get spit on, you can’t know what it is like to be like the other. Adoptees will never have this puzzle completed or complete puzzle. And even though you can get small pieces, unfortunately, you will not know where to place them. Unfortunately, we live a table of conflicts.
Here, being an egoist is not good. I really understand adoptive parents who want kids, and that is all in their right? honor. In the same time, we didn’t ask for anything. People come with their already-made phrases: ‘I’ll save you,’ ‘I did this,’ ‘Thanks to me, you have a better life.’ What is that? That’s what we try to fight against. I talk for myself. I try to tell to myself, at the end, I would like to look at my adoptive parents and understand them. As much I want them to look at me and understand… me myself. But I don’t understand how they can understand me? That is all these little facts, at the end, it’s about time that ‘specialists’ give the voice to those who have the experience and not to people who guess things, understand approximately, or are in the theory. I am now, in the path to discover who I am and it’s in expressing that I can do so, and not with someone who guesses what I’ve been through.
Intervenante – On one hand, it’s obvious that adoptive parents tell to their children that theory. Maybe they cannot say otherwise, and in on the other hand it’s difficult to blame them because they are your parents who put you in adoption. Parts of the difficulties are in the intolerance whatever it is. So, I tell you as I see it, it’s your problematic, you, adoptees. There are so many elements and also intolerance, countries or circumstances that put you in adoption. There is not only the ‘bad-talk’ from adoptive parents, there is also intrinsically the human and social intolerance. Because identity has to be built up. If we make you feel like the others. Do you always have the same questions?
Esteban – I believe so. In any case, the line goes with the wind. That’s the wind that decides where the line is going. But basically, I always wondered who I would be if I stayed with my family.
kimura – There is always ‘if’ but to always ask, we don’t really get anywhere. But I tried to find a balance between my country of adoption and my birth land. Whether we were well adopted (of course it’s better when we are ‘well’ adopted), we still have questions about identity, even though our adoptive parents ‘educated’ us well, loved us well as equal with the others, etc. We got remarks at school, with people who were close to us such as ‘But you have to be happy because you were adopted.’ or automatic or insensitive remarks such as ‘Ah but your real parents are not your birth-parents,’ ‘You don’t have to look for your birth parents because they abandoned you.’ There are always those kind of questions. There is always that tension. It’s not necessary the people’s mistake. That’s why we try to create a space to discuss. Because adoption, it’s always adults who talk about it. But now we are adults. We can talk for ourselves. There are many anthologies. I created A.C.A. (Adoptee Cultural Archives) where I share what has been made on inter-racial and/or international adoption up to now and as far as I know. For adoptees but also for adoptive parents, also for people who know adoptees, so they can have access to resources, tips to understand the psychology and to not repeat the same kinds of mistakes, hurtful comments that we can hear all day long or at openings, when people tell you ‘ah, you are adopted, so you are happy here, at least we accept you here! Were you expensive?’
It’s not a question of choosing between birth parents versus adoptive parents. Between our adoptive country versus our birth country, but it’s to try to navigate in a ‘sea’ that we belong to. People always ask us to choose. Why do we have to choose if we belong to both, or three…
Intervenante – But what we realize it’s the intolerant remarks. But there are also birthmothers who put you on adoption. There is their pain.
kimura – But sometimes it’s the system that establishes it.
Intervenante – It’s not as simple. I tell you that because I have a friend who was a single mother. Their parents sent or her to another village to give birth. They didn’t even see their baby and they gave them away. All her life she was in pain because she was forced to do that. All I wanted to say, it’s your pain, your questions, there are also on your parents side…
kimura – Adoptive parents, or birth-parents?
Intervenante – Birth-parent
kimura – But sometimes they don’t even know we are adopted.
Kassaye – Right, We are not all placed for adoption.
kimura – I am 47, and it’s at least 45 years that has happened, without counting the stolen generation with the Native people, here, and in Australia too. We are précising that it is international or/and inter-racial adoption. It’s not because we are adopted inter-racially that we are adopted internationally. Because there are Canadians who are adopted: Afro-descendants, like the two filmmakers (Black Soul and From Billie) are Canadians who were born on the Canadian ground from immigrants (birth) parents. So, there is no inter-cultural but there is inter-racialism. If they didn’t experience racism in their (adoptive) families, they might have experienced in their surroundings. The society was not ready to welcome them with the notion of belonging.
Intervenante – It’s funny because that friend gave birth to a child that look Scandinavian, and she could finally retrace her in Sweden. What I wanted to say it’s that they? is in all countries, all kind of aberrations that happened. And there is also all your questions and pains, and our uneasiness that take parts… because of socio-cultural intolerance in countries. And also there are the questions of your birth-parents what are living with their pains who will not see you ever again.
Kassaye – Yes, but tonight we are talking about adoptees. About the biological aspect, yes we are adopted. We do understand that.
kimura – There is a Quebec film that talks about it very well ‘Congorama.’ It talks about the quest of identity. It talks about identity even though both people are Caucasians. Between Belgium and Québec, where there is no question of race but yet of inter-culturality. But for us we have that but in addition we also have a society that wasn’t ready to welcome us and to have to add that, as for Kassaye, Korean adoptees, and for you too (Esteban), this is the language. If we return to our birth-land, we have to understand that foreign language, and also that is not close to our adoptive country. It’s expensive to travel. Here again other problems we want to talk about. Yes, we can come-back to ‘our’ place, but how much does it cost? Will they accept us back? It will be difficult. Koreans didn’t expect that we would want to return.
Now, the Chinese are returning. Here, in Chinatowns, they teach Chinese. It’s more accessible to learn Chinese than Korean. It was impossible, at my time, to learn Korean in Belgium. Then when we go there, we realize we are not like them and they reject us in saying go back to your place. But ‘our’ place. So there is also that. When we go back it’s to see how it goes. Anyway there are many questions!
I will put documents on the Facebook page. Don’t hesitate to contact us. We are willing to answer you to give you information. There is also the book ‘Fil rouge’ that gives voice to Chinese birthmothers. There are many documentaries, fictions, anthologies that talk about the subject. And that’s what we want to tell you, if you are interested, if you have friends who want to adopt, tell then to inform themselves before the adoption happens… and it’s not easy!
Myungsook – I was adopted. The first 8 years I was with my family. I remember who I was. I was in phases ‘I am just a Quebecer’ and I completely forgot I was a Korean. I went through all those phases. 15 years ago I found my family again? I didn’t forget my past life. It’s just to have been adopted in another country and all this. When we are adopted, we have two broken identities. I say so because I belong to many adoptee groups, also the domestic adoptees and they also have the same problems of identity. It’s like our real ‘self’. We didn’t live it. It’s the person who was born who didn’t live, and there’s the other one that is self created. I came to realize because I have the memory of my past life before the adoption. But what I feel, is the same conflict with the ones who were adopted as babies, then the ones adopted in the same race or the same country.
kimura – I want to thank GIV for their hard work (Pétunia, Liliana, Mathilde, Carol, Anne).
Thanks to them whom with we could organize this platform of discussion Thank you for coming