Uncovering North Korean forced labour in Africa : towards a research framework

TitleUncovering North Korean forced labour in Africa : towards a research framework
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsT.A. van der Hoog
EditorR.E. Breuker, and I.B.L.H. van Gardingen
Secondary TitlePeople for profit: North Korean forced labour on a global scale
Series titleZimbabwe; forced labour; slavery; monuments; national liberation movements; history; diplomacy; foreign policy
Pagination67 - 83
Date Published2018///
Place PublishedLeiden
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number978-90-826167-3-6
Keywordsdiplomacy, forced labour, foreign policy, history, monuments, national liberation movements, slavery, Zimbabwe

The footprints of North Korean influence can be found all over Africa, most clearly in the form of monuments, museums, and government buildings constructed using forced labour. Such prominent projects, which are potent symbols of African nationalism, simultaneously adopt the socialist-realist visual style that is predominant in Pyongyang, the DPRK capital. It makes them highly recognisable markers. Less visible, however, is the forced labour that precedes the joyful opening of a new monument, museum, or government building. The main objective of this chapter is to provoke ideas about a framework to study North Korean forced labour in Africa, and stimulate further work in this field. First, the chapter provides a historical context of North Korean activities in Africa. The seeds of the fruitful cooperation between the DPRK and African countries were sown during the liberation struggles that raged across the continent between the 1960s and 1990s. The subsequent section focuses on a single case study, namely Zimbabwe, to highlight this relationship. Finally, the foundations for a research framework are laid out in the third part, with special attention to methodology and sources. A number of preliminary findings serve as a conclusion.

IR handle/ Full text URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1887/63981
Citation Key9622