Hazeltine scholars complete photography projects in Brazil, Argentina, Romania

The Media School Report • Dec. 4, 2017

Two Media School alumni have returned from months-long reporting trips abroad, where they photographed former Korean War prisoners living new lives in Brazil and Argentina and the potential effects of a proposed mining project in Romania’s oldest documented settlement.

The photographers undertook the projects with the support of the Ross Hazeltine Scholarship, which annually funds post-graduate international travel to complete academic or journalistic projects.

Tae-Gyun Kim traveled to Brazil and Argentina in late 2016 to photograph seven former prisoners of the Korean War who resettled in foreign countries after the conflict ended. (Tae-Gyun-Kim | The Media School)

Forgotten War, Forgotten Prisoners

Tae-Gyun Kim spent three months in Brazil and Argentina photographing former North Korean prisoners of the Korean War, captured by the U.S. or South Korean armies. The prison camps were violent and deadly.

After the war ended, 76 prisoners chose not to return to either Korea, instead opting to move to a neutral location: India. After three years in India, they dispersed to both Brazil and Argentina and began new lives.

Kim traveled around Brazil and Argentina to meet seven of these prisoners to try to understand why they made the decision to abandon their former lives and learn how they assimilated into their new cultures. He interviewed the men, took portraits and documented their daily lives.

See his photos at his website.

Mark Felix traveled to Romania in summer 2015 to photograph the residents of the Roșia Montană Valley as they grappled with the uncertainty of a halted mining project that has the potential to displace the country’s oldest documented settlement. (Mark Felix | The Media School)

The Red Mountain

Mark Felix photographed residents of the Roșia Montană Valley in the Apuseni Mountains, the oldest documented settlement in Romania, as the community grappled with the uncertainty of the halted Roșia Montană mining project.

Toronto-based Gabriel Resources proposed the creation of Europe’s largest open-pit gold mine operation at the site. The project would carve the valley into four mines, tear down 740 homes and displace more than 1,800 people, many who have family roots in the community that go back hundreds of years.

The Romanian government halted the approval process for the project in 2007 due to widespread opposition. The dispute over the project is ongoing.

See photos at his website.