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Bruce Cumings: Violet Ashes: A Tribute to Chris Marker

This essay examines the destructive air war over North Korea from 1950 to 1953 and asks why this enormous atrocity is either unknown or forgotten in the United States, while it remains a burning memory in North Korea—one that deeply affects Korean attitudes toward US citizens. The essay high-lights the remarkable work of Chris Marker, who died in 2012, one day after his ninety-first birthday. A well-known photographer, filmmaker, and artist, he visited the North four years after the air war ended and published a remarkable book of photos—one that also remains unknown or forgotten. In passing, he remarked that “extermination passed over this land.”

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