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South Korea: Alternative Culture Publishing


Project Update

The Korean adaptation of Our Bodies, Ourselves was published in 2005 by Alternative Culture Publishing (a group that grew out of the womenís movement in South Korea) and Korean Sexual Violence Relief Center.

Our partner received a lot of input and support from young university women and local partners, including a feminist group called Womenís Voice in Haenam, which set up reading groups and the Womenís Committee of Korean Teachers & Educational Workerís Union, which helped test content in their trainings.

Here are some examples of what was adapted in this edition:

  • Sexual and domestic violence and ecological movements was heavily emphasized to highlight the tremendous progress South Korean women have made on these issues.
  • Content on the healthcare system and movement building in the United States was modified to the South Korean context; content on topics such as homosexuality and abortion was retained as our partner felt that information on US laws and activism would be useful to a Korean audience.
  • A list of resources (books, films, websites, and contact numbers) was included in every chapter.

Local media groups have plenty to say about the Korean resource.    

The Hankyoreh - A monumental book on women's health!"  

Younhap News - "A book to comprehend the wisdom and the information a woman must know to enjoy her good health." 

Unninet Review - "It gives us the enjoyment of reading whenever we need the knowledge of our bodies".

Roughly 3,000 copies have been distributed through conventional and online bookstores. However, due to a declining publishing industry, our partner reports disappointing sales since publication.

If you would like more information about this project and explore ways you might get involved, please contact the OBOS Global Initiative staff.

Meet Our Partner

Alternative Culture is a Korean feminist network that promotes feminist consciousness through publications, cultural activities and lectures.

Established in 1984, the organization is dedicated to creating "an equal and open (Korean) society where women and men have true companionships, and children grow up with freedom, through planting a seed of an alternative culture."  

In 1987, Alternative Culture founded Alternative Culture Publishing, to promote and sell its annual journal, Equal Parent, Liberal Children. Issues addressed in the journal have helped highlight and encourage public discussion on love and sex for the first time in Korean society.
Some titles include: Open Society, Autonomous Women (1986); Feminist Literature (1987); Dominant Culture / Male Culture (1988); Oppressing Education, Growing Children (1989); Housewives: The Interruptions and Liberation (1990); Rewriting Romantic Love Stories (1991); Rewriting the Stories of Korean Sexuality (1991); Women Make Women in Words (1992); The World that I Hope to Live In (1994); Rewriting the Stories of Marriage (1996); Rewriting the Stories of Teenagers (1997); Women Finding a Job, Changing the World (1999); Women's Body, Women's Age (2001); and Whom to Live With: Rewriting Korean Families (2003).

Another publication - Reading Texts and Everyday Lives in Post-colonial Era - has received public attention for its criticism of colonialism in Korean academics. The organization has gone on to publish other books on feminism, education, cultural theory and adolescent sexuality, including:  
  • Male Feminists by Tom Digby; Trans. Yonju KimGo et al.(2004)
  • Science Book for Girls and Other Intelligent Beings by Valerie Wyatt; Trans. Minkyung Kim (2003)
  • Menarche Party: A Girls' Guide to Happy Menstruation by Jieun Roh et al. (2002)
  • I Got Flowers Today: Domestic Violence and Women's Rights by Hee Jin Jeong(2001)

Our partner also runs a guesthouse for women travelling to and alone in Seoul. Visit Sleeping Strawberry for details. 

For more information, please contact either the OBOS Global Initiative or the organization directly. 

Contact Person: Seunghee Ryoo
Address: #302, Daejae-villa, 184-6 Dongkyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul 121-818, Rep. of Korea
Email: ryoolee@tomoon.com / tomoon@tomoon.com
Phone: 82-2-324-7486
Fax: 82-2-323-2934
Website: www.tomoon.com  

Looking for a Copy?

If you would like copies of the Korean adaptation, please contact Alternative Culture Publishing at orders@tomoon.com or 82-2-324-7486 (x202); and donít forget to check their website for excerpts.

If you are looking for a copy in the US, contact Koryo Books at 35w 32nd St. New York, NY, 212-564-1844

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