Alfonso De Gregorio’s idea of photography is providing a powerful and political commentary on the world we live in. It is possible to do so when photography spotlights social and cultural realities, and provides new perspectives and lenses for understanding ourselves and our social environment.
This reportage comments the indignation and the hope recently experienced by the South Korean citizens, after the scandals that had been plaguing the President Park Geun-hye. In the course of over one-month-long protests, and for the first time in the democratic history of the Country, millions of South Korean citizens asked for the resignation of the President.
According to the allegations, Choi Soon-sil – the personal confidant of President Park Geun- hye and daughter of a shamanic leader – for years has exerted an enormous influence on the Country’s political life, without ever having received any public office. As a modern-day Rasputin, Choi Soon-sil intervened in matters of state, rewrote the talks of the President, and diverted public funds towards her foundation. Millions of Koreans felt outraged by these events and asked for the resignation of Park Geun-hye.
People of all possible ages gathered in the area between the governmental complex of Gyeongbokgung and Gwanghwamun Square. There, they made parades, carousels, concerts, dances, and speeches. The respect for their city, for the authorities, and for their fellow citizens was unconditional. Nobody broke facilities, destroyed vehicles, burned objects, or threw waste. Certainly, the police were there, simply doing their jobs. The police were also at the Gyeongbokgung subway, blocking with a full regiment the underground access to the Gyeongbokgung government complex. In response, the Koreans sat on the hallway floor and engaged in impromptu speeches.
The Alfonso’s series here published documents one of the nights of the protest. The President Park Geun-hye was impeached one month later.