GEOGRAPHIES OF KINSHIP-THE KOREAN ADOPTION STORY (working title) is a feature-length documentary that follows Korean adoptees from the U.S. and Europe, each on a unique journey related to their adoptions. We meet, for example, Estelle Cooke-Sampson who revists the orphanage where she lived until she was adopted by an African American soldier. She wonders how the nuns felt about having a black child in the 1950s. Emma Andersson is a Swedish adoptee who visits Korea for the first time and unexpectedly meets her birth mother, discovering family secrets along the way. Meanwhile, Michael Holloway is in San Francisco when he meets his birth family via webcam on a live television show. He is shocked to discover he has an identical twin. These and other riveting stories unfold against a wider backdrop of the Korean War and the hidden effects of post-war industrialization and globalization on women and families in South Korea.
Since the Korean War (1950-53) approximately 200,000 children from South Korea have been adopted into primarily white families in North America, Europe, and Australia. The Korean adoption experience and its subsequent adoptee diaspora have transformed not only how adoption is practiced worldwide, but also how kinship, identity and race are perceived and contested. As the forerunner for a growing number of international adoptions from China, Russia, Guatemala, Ethiopia and other countries, the Korean model challenges us to reflect on universal questions of identity, assimilation, family and belonging. Geographies of Kinship-The Korean Adoption Story will explore these provocative and timely themes by listening closely to those who have lived the experience most intimately-adoptees-while relaying a compelling story of epic scope. The film will enable audiences to better understand the socio-economic and political forces that brought tens of thousands of foreign children to the U.S. and Europe, the ethical quandaries of those who supported as well as those who opposed international adoptions, and the legacy, in human terms, of transracial and transnational adoptions.
GEOGRAPHIES OF KINSHIP-THE KOREAN ADOPTION STORY recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for research and development. NEH funds are now enabling us to complete archival footage research, write a script, consult with scholars and experts, and edit a fundraising reel. We will be finished with these important steps in late Fall 2012. To continue our momentum, we launched a Kickstarter campaign on June 20, 2012 to raise funds for production. The campaign was a huge success and we raised $82,227 from approximately 600 backers!
For all those who joined our Kickstarter campaign, thank you very very much!
Sponsored by Katahdin Productions and funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Meet our Outreach Partners:
We are honored and thrilled to have the support of an amazing group of Outreach Partners who are supporting the film and who supported our Kickstarter campaign! Our Partners are: Adopterade Koreaners Forening (Stockholm), AdopSource (Minneapolis), AK Connection (Minneapolis), Also-Known-As, Inc. (NYC), Arierang: Dutch Association for Korean Adoptees (Amsterdam), Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington (Seattle), Assoc. of Korean Adoptees San Francisco, Assoc. of Korean Adoptes So-Cal, Boston Korean Adoptees, Center for Asian American Media (San Francisco), Global Overseas Adoptees Link (Seoul), IKAA: International Korean Adoptee Associations (Seattle), Korean Focus (Metro D.C.), Ko-Root (Seoul), Korean Adoptees of the Hawaiian Islands (Honolulu), KAAN: the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (Camp Hill, PA), Korea Klubben (Copenhagen), Korea Quarterly (Minneapolis), InKAS: International Korean Adoptee Services, Mixed Roots Foundation (San Francisco), One World: Chinese Adoptee Links. Thank you for your support, Partners!