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B-Unlimited welcomes former propaganda poet Jang Jin-sung from North Korea at 18 October


While North and South negotiate peace and nuclear disarmament, with and without the US, Breuker warns against optimism, as he recognizes the strategizing of the North Korea's ruthless dictatorship. Despite the negotiations, the daily lives of North Koreans are not likely to improve, as we will hear from the former propaganda poet Jang Jin-sung, who fled to the South. Once he had to sing the praises of the supreme leader, but now he is free to write about whatever he wants. Through poetry and conversation, Breuker and Jang will enlighten us on what it is like to live in North Korea's dictatorship of the mind. Moderated by Hassnae Bouazza.

North Korea: daily life in a mental dictatorship - the story of the refugee.
Location: Central Library The Hague, Spui 68. Time: 20.30 - 22.00 hrs.
Free entrance for students and We Are Public-members.
€ 7,- Members library, Ooievaarspas and CJP. Regular ticket:
€10,-. Tickets via

Jang Jin-sung (ca.1970/1971) is the pseudonym of a prominent North Korean dissident and former propaganda poet of Kim Jong Il. He fled to South Korea and wrote the international best seller Dear Leader - My escape from North Korea (2014). In 2015 he was a guest lecturer at Leiden University.

Remco Breuker (Zaandam, NL, 1972) is a professor of Korean Studies at the University of Leiden. He studied Japanese and Korean, and lived for a time in Seoul while earning a second Master's degree. Breuker collaborated on the first Korean-Dutch dictionary(2002). In 2006, he obtained his doctorate (with distinction) with When Truth is Everywhere: The formation of plural identities in medieval Korea, 918-1170. In 2008, Breuker worked as a researcher at Australia's National University (ANU). Then he worked on the research project Conceptualizing Northeast Asia: World history through the lens of Koryǒ and Liao. Breuker is the acting director of the project History as Social Practice: Unconventional historiographies of Korea. He is editor-in-chief of the e-magazine Korean Histories and an editor with the magazine East Asian History. In 2010 he received the KNAW Heineken Young Scientists Award for Historical Learning for research into Korean identity.

Hassnae Bouazza (Morocco, 1973) contributes to various Dutch media. She collected stories about strong Arab women in Achter de sluier (Behind the Veil, 1999) in an attempt to alter the clichéd image that exists in the Netherlands about Arab women. She did research for the Dutch radio and TV channel VPRO and made programs for various other networks. She also works as a translator and produces literary programs with Writers Unlimited.Bouazza studied English and is an avid twitterer. In 2013, her book Arabieren kijken, de alledaagse revolutie (Watching Arabs, the Undistinguished Revolution) appeared and in 2014 she directed the documentary television series Seks en de zonde with Femke Halsema. In 2015 she was honoured in Beirut with the Arouawad Award for her publications about the Arab world.

Event curated by Ton van de Langkruis (Writers Unlimited)
Books for sale courtesy of Van Stockum Booksellers

Writers Unlimited Gemeente Den Haag Fonds 1818 Bibliotheek Den Haag