The Country of G
The artist statement “The country of G” written by G herself is reflected of her will to live in a positive way, rather than to be shrunk back in horror and act passively like her past.
Moreover, the story of G and G’s family tells a tough life here and shows Korea fallen into a particular prejudice.
I was born in a refugee camp in Ghana, in 2002.
My mom left home country Liberia to escape circumcision, and went to Ghana. She met my dad there and gave birth to me, and then he left us to go back to Liberia. My mom and I held out in refugee camp for 10 years, where I couldn’t even get a glass of cold water. I could have been an idol for all children in refugee camp if I had an ice pop. After a few years, I got an eye inflammation, and my mom blamed herself for it. One day, one of volunteers in refugee told her that my eye inflammation can be cured in Korea. As soon as she heard it, she decided to leave there and go to Korea.
Arrived at Korea with mom in 2012.
I was so thrilled at taking plane which was the first time in my life. My mom and I were hanging around airport, as we didn’t know where to go. The kind Korean lady with a benevolent smile told us ‘Dongdocheon’ where bunch of foreigners live, and we might get help there. I believed all Koreans are generous and nice enough to help strangers by then.
Started school life in September 2012, as a fourth grader student.
It was first time that I want to kill myself at that time. Due to poor Korean and my skin color, I was all alone and bullied calling ‘Black Monkey’. Every time classmates called me ‘Black Monkey’, I clung to mom, desperate and crying, and said “I want to go back home, Ghana!” After 9 months, My Korean became perfect like a native speaker and thankfully had a few friends, but lots of people still avoided me.
Went to middle school in 2015, and I expected the normal school life as my language and thoughts are not different from Koreans.
But my expectation was just dream, not reality. The nasty rumor about me was all around school, and some senior students even swore foully. One day, I had lunch and came back to class, and found the scribbling on the desk with full of nasty words like ‘Why do you live nigger?’, ‘Kill yourself, nigger’ and ‘Go back to your country Fucking bitch’ so on. My little brother born by mom and stepfather used to be loved by people in the Underground. Whenever people adored my little brother, there were some people who said “Don’t touch him. He will become black more and more as he grows up” Every time the Koreans spit out curses at my brother, I wanted to hide and even kill myself.
However, I endured the all crisis due to mom who gives me comfort and make me lean on her.
As time goes by, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to hide or kill myself anymore, although the curse and swearing are still on my mind. I believed that I am a Korean because I finished elementary, middle, and high school here. Some people say “You got education in Korean way for 8 years. That means you are a Korean”. But the real life is not that simple.
I have to extend certificate of alien registration once a year and the risk of refusal always exists because of the ‘expired term’ passport. I sometimes think that any country is not able to protect our family, when my parents cannot have a better job without a humane residence visa. My little brother born in Korea wants to be a soldier in the future.
However, I wonder where the country is that my brother can protect.
"G" stands for her name, "Gracious".
Gracious [ ˈɡreɪʃəs ]
Courteous, kind, and pleasant (especially towards someone of lower social status)
Showing the elegance and comfort brought by wealth or high social status
<A polite epithet used of royalty or their acts>