1. The cathedral was too big and too high for the fever of the awards ceremony to fill the cathedral.
Celebrities' performances and celebrities' congratulations continued for more than an hour, as if they had heard their name somewhere, but the bleak air inside the cathedral was seldom heated.
At the beginning of winter, the cathedral felt warmer outside than inside.
In the Anglican Cathedral opposite the Seoul City Hall, where the 1st Minu Awards ceremony was held on November 14th, about 50 people sat at a distance from each other.
Director Al Mamun was in the forefront.
He was the main character of the event, but he wore a jumper and sneakers as if he wasn't wearing any special clothes.
His wife and other family members were not visible.
The day before this, the South Korean government awarded the National Medal of Merit Mugunghwa to Jeon Tae-il.
It was a belated courtesy to a young man who represented the people in the lowest place 50 years ago, and almost all the media reported this news as if they would even reflect on the outside world.
Few media showed interest in
Minu Awards ceremony
the following day
No one, including government officials, sent one of those common celebration wreaths.
It was like a feast of the most neglected people on earth.
In the final order of the awards ceremony, director Al Mamun appeared on the stage.
His impression of the award was rather flat.
He was grateful for his colleagues who helped him work on his script, which he couldn't speak well in Korean, and he was happy to receive a meaningful award, and he said he will continue to work harder to help migrant workers to create a world where they can live confidently.
His impression of the award, less than three minutes long, was too short to cover 22 years of his life in Korea.
The Minu Award was created this year to commemorate the Nepalese migrant worker, who died after being deported after being deported for dedication to the human rights movement for migrant workers and the culture and arts movement.
It is a prize that domestic human rights organizations and migrant organizations join forces to those who have made efforts for the human life of migrant workers.
It would be a great honor to be selected as the first winner of this award, but Mamun's expression was not necessarily happy.
In November 1998, Shekh al Mamun paid a broker a ton of money to get a ticket to Korea.
I came on a tourist visa, but I wasn't in a position to go sightseeing leisurely.
I started my life in Korea by getting a job as a worker in the Maseok Furniture Complex in Gyeonggi-do, where my cousin's brother was first located.
Three months after his visa expired, he became an illegal worker.
Furniture factory employees, migrant labor activists, furniture factory factory managers, independent film directors, columnists, and cultural event planners are the jobs he went through in Korea.
His title now is Senior Vice Chairman of Migrant Workers' Trade Union under the KCTU, and Director of Planning for Migrant Culture and Arts Organization <Asia Media Culture Factory>.
These days, he mainly shoots documentary films and plans and conducts cultural and artistic events.
He married a Korean woman in 2004 and gained Korean nationality in 2009.
2. I came to Korea at the age of twenty-two.
He attended college in Bangladesh for a semester, but he didn't want to dream of his future there.
I wanted to go abroad like many of my brothers and friends did.
Since the country is poor, it seems obvious that his life will be poor, and he wants to make money in a country where the circumstances are a little better.
I didn't know much about Korea.
Since it is a country in Asia, I vaguely thought it would be a little easier to adapt compared to Europe.
“I thought Korea was a great country, but I wasn't particularly interested. My cousin went to Korea first, which was a reason, but above all, I wanted to leave Bangladesh as soon as possible. I could go to Europe, but to go to Europe for half a year. I had to wait around. I chose to go to Korea because I could get a Korean visa in a week.” The
received was 700,000 won, and it was about 10 times the Bangladeshi worker's salary.
In 1998, there was no employment permit system.
Not to mention the three labor rights, it was in a poor situation that he was not given any legal protection.
It was a time when he was beaten, struck, and bothered, but Mamun did not remember those days as particularly difficult times.
When I went outside the factory, there was a gaze of discrimination and hatred, and I was always plagued by the fear of forced deportation, but inside the factory there was the recognition shared by people working with me.
Korean colleagues were willing to lend him his name when he got a cell phone.
Although there were occasional dinners with colleagues, he spent two years traveling between the company and the dormitory.
My only pleasure was to learn Korean while watching TV dramas while I was resting.
When he was young, he said his dream was a traveler.
He might have longed for a strange place, but he also had a desire to escape from the difficult reality he was in.
Now he seems to have forgotten that urgency,
but his biggest goal at one time was to leave his poor homeland.
If he hadn't left Bangladesh, he would have followed his father in a fabric store, and that was probably the best way he could go.
3. Visiting the migrants' union in Maseok to discuss overdue severance pay in 2001 changed this man's life.
The company's president, who delayed the payment of severance pay by making excuses from this excuse, paid 2.7 million won in severance pay a day after visiting the union.
It was a moment to confirm the strength of the labor union.
Receiving the overdue severance pay was just the beginning.
Here he met human rights activists who treated him as the same person.
Al Mamun, who was treated as a money-making machine and second-class human with different skin colors, was called'Comrade Mamun'.
After meeting human rights activists who were active in Maseok, Mamun opened his eyes to a new world.
"I would have never seen the plant and the people iteotdamyeon only dormitory like other foreign workers. These people are me,
give look to the" downed me with sincere worry about. Gotta know that there are such people was so happy. "
At that time, there were hundreds of foreign workers in the Maseok Furniture Complex, and the migrant union movement based on them was active.
Human rights activists in Korea were working with migrant workers to support them.
At this time, the Bangladesh undocumented workers'
were also seoseonyoung He shifts during call me. "
“At the time, the Maseok migrants' union was in crisis due to the intensive crackdown of the authorities, and Mr. Mamun was an active participant in the union work and was a great help. Mr. Mamun was a person with strong skepticism... There was, but we thought that migrant workers should be the subject of the organization, not passive objects to be supported. The name comrade is natural.”
<Seon-young Seo, professor of sociology at Chungbuk National University, activist supporting Maseok foreign workers at the time>
Although he was an illegal immigrant who would be deported immediately after being caught by the authorities, Mamun was not afraid to stand at the forefront of the migrant union movement.
He learned of his natural rights as a worker, and realized that he was a dignified existence regardless of nationality, skin, or status of residence.
Without meeting Korean activists who helped, taught, and encouraged Mamun, and asked him to stand as the subject of the movement, this would not have happened to Mamun.
Labor union activist Mamun's struggle led to the establishment of the Myeongdong Catholic Church of foreign migrant workers that lasted for more than 380 days from the end of 2003.
The struggle for the Myeongdong Cathedral was a fight demanding the end of the forced deportation of undocumented foreign workers, which intensively took place along with the implementation of the foreigner employment permit system.
He was the organizer of this protest struggle.
The fight between Mamun and his friends was fierce, but the prospect of victory was seldom seen.
There were as many as 10 foreign workers who killed themselves or died due to the threat of deportation, and Mamun even fought for 20 days at the end of the protest, but Korean society did not listen to their voices.
The long-term struggle for the Myeongdong Catholic Church was a milestone in the migrants' rights movement, but it did not win.
Mamun was frustrated at this time.
“I think this was the most difficult time in my life in Korea. Every time I saw my comrades leave the ranks of struggle, I felt painful and collapsed in my heart. It was financially difficult because I couldn't work. If I was in Bangladesh, I would not suffer this kind of hardship. I didn't think I did, so I regretted coming to Korea countless times."
There is no fight to lose everything.
He couldn't win and lost a lot, but gained the most precious thing through the struggle for the Myeongdong Nongseong Fortress.
He met his wife, Han Joon-kyung here.
Joonkyung Han withdrew from Seoul National University after two years and entered Duksung Women's University in 2001.
Some say that Han Joon-kyung quit Seoul National University as a protest against a society that discriminated against education.
Mamun explained that he wasn't without such an aspect, but he changed the school because the department he was attending did not fit the aptitude.
Although the student movement was declining in college, Han Joon-kyung was an enthusiastic movement student.
Students supported the migrant migrant workers' struggle in Myeong-dong as part of a solidarity struggle, among them Han Joon-kyung.
Mamun couldn't figure out why the students were helping them.
One day, a conversation like this went back and forth between Mamun and Han Junkyung.
-Why do students help us?
Isn't it possible to help us with money?
"If Comrade Mamun is a migrant worker, I can be discriminated against because I'm a woman. If I don't change this environment in which discrimination causes discrimination, my life can be difficult. That's why students fight with comrades."
During this conversation, the two began to be engraved into each other's hearts as unique beings.
Mamun, who went to Myeong-dong with Han Joon-kyung to buy sunscreen during the protest struggle, was in danger of being arrested by an immigration officer and managed to escape with the help of the people around him.
Watching this scene from the side, Han Joon-kyung decided that he would never let the person he loves suffer from this again.
Han Jun-kyung first proposed marriage to Ma-moon.
Mamun asked to marry with the permission of Han Joon-gyeong's parents, but Han Joon-gyeong first asked for the marriage registration.
When a healthy female college student marries a young Southeast Asian worker who does not have permission to stay, how many parents will allow it?
Han Joon-kyung did not break his stubbornness, and in 2004 the two registered marriage and became legally married.
With the marriage, Mamun escaped from the status of illegal immigration and gained Korean citizenship in 2009.
The Mamun-Han Jun-kyung couple married in 2015.
The couple agreed not to have children.
The mother-in-law, who calls herself'Ma West,' said she saw it several times before the wedding, but the father-in-law met only in 2014, just before the wedding.
The two bought a small apartment in Bucheon last year.
Mamun said that the'banker' helped a lot.
There were many things I wanted to ask of Han Joon-kyung, who is currently working as a public official in the central government, but Joon-Kyung Han declined to interview.
4. After the long-term struggle for the Myeongdong Cathedral, Mamun returned to work as a worker at the Maseok Furniture Complex.
The person I met at this time was Jang Man-hee.
Jang Man-hee, who was a subcontractor of the Maseok furniture factory, taught Mamun not only about technology, but also what Korean recognition is.
To Mamun, Jang Man-hee was like an older brother.
Jang Man-hee opened his own factory and sang Mamun after becoming independent.
In this small furniture factory with six or seven employees, Mamun served as the factory manager.
Jang Man-hee believed in Ma-Moon and cheered him on to the extent that he even said he would hand over this factory to Ma-Moon you later.
At the time, Mamun's monthly salary was 2,600,000 to 2.7 million won, more than Korean employees with similar experience.
From 2004 to 2012, when I worked with Jang Man-hee, was the most comfortable and stable period in Mamun's life.
It was a time when I felt the little joy of an ordinary head of a family by earning money.
Marriage with Han Joon-kyung helped him escape the fear of forced deportation, and in 2009 he gained Korean citizenship, so it was legally stabilized.
Instead, it was a period of distance from union activities.
There was also a feeling of sorry for the suffering migrant workers' colleagues.
“After returning to Gemstone, I was burdened with a burden on my heart. I was wondering if I was saying that I would only live well after getting married. At that time, my wife said, “It is great to have such a heart, and if you have such a heart, one day you will return to the field of struggle. I could do it."
Mamun had a dream of having his own factory while working at Maseok, but Joonkyung Han had a different idea.
Han Joon-kyung, who prepared for the civil service exam somewhat late, demanded Mamun to quit the furniture factory with the final pass in 2012.
I know how bad your working environment is, but I can't see you working there anymore.
You didn't know when you would get hurt, so you couldn't see the book and get the job done.
When I become a public servant, I will be responsible for the housekeeping, so now you have to do something else.
It was nothing in Mamun's mind.
It was a waste to quit my job well, and above all, considering my loyalty with Jang Man-hee, quitting the factory was unthinkable.
However, Han Jun-kyung was stubborn.
If you can't quit the factory, you've even been told to break up.
Mamun could not continue to refuse his wife's request.
At the end of 2012, Mamun called Jang Man-hee and said he would quit the factory.
Mamun unilaterally reported and turned off the phone for three days.
"I still feel sorry for him, and I think I was wrong. I went back and apologized, but I always remain in debt to him."
It was like a thunderbolt to Jang Man-hee.
In the meantime, he felt betrayed when he thought about treating Mamun like his younger brother, but he showed a generous attitude until the end.
In addition to providing severance pay, Mamoon was considerate to receive unemployment benefits for several months.
When I asked Mamun for the contact information of Jang Man-hee, he said that it has been a few years since the contact was cut off.
5. For the sake of family peace, although he was forced to beat his workplace, he met documentary film director Eun-seok Kim when he was wondering what he could do in Korean society.
Kim Eun-seok, who was former assistant director of the movie <Home>, was very interested in the human rights issues of migrants, especially the culture and arts movements of migrants.
He thought it was important for migrants to develop their own cultural content production ability, and he was involved in the project to foster migrant film directors, and met Mamoon in the process.
Mamun, who had rarely encountered movies until then, entered a new world of movies through meeting with Kim Eun-seok.
And he fell insanely.
Almost every day, I met Kim Eun-seok, asked him about the movie, and discussed it with him.
It wasn't once or twice that I spent the night talking about a movie.
"Director Mamoon was a person who was very passionate and curious. Above all, he had a very strong desire to tell his story through the medium of film." / Kim Eun-suk Documentary film director Kim Eun-suk,
rather than teaching everything and telling everything. He led Mamun to think for himself and to awaken himself.
Kim Eun-seok was more concerned with what to put in a film than a specific film production technique, and asked Mamoon to look at the lives of migrant workers through the eyes of migrants.
In 2013, with the help of director Kim Eun-suk, she made her first film <Paki>, and Mamoon has made 11 films so far.
Since he shot his first work in 2013, he made at least one or two films a year.
The amount is not important, but the reason he was able to make a film every year was because he had so much to say through the film.
"Director Mamoon's work has a socially accusatory and journalistic character. The advantage is that the director and the film go as a set because you are the person concerned, rather than worrying about what to shoot. . The video itself is not beautiful or unusual, but he is a director who tells his story sincerely."
/ Kim Eun-seok, documentary film director
persistently asks questions about Korean society using the medium of film.
It is questioned why they turn away from the reality of migrant workers living in spaces where people cannot live, such as plastic houses and containers.
The camera captures the reality of treating migrant workers as money-making machines that are thrown away after a certain period of time, and emphasizes that migrant workers are not machines that only do what they are asked to do, but humans with the same desires as you.
I ask why Korea is so stingy about giving a corner of Korean society to migrant workers who do the dangerous, difficult and dirty work you are reluctant to do.
“When I hold the camera, the migrant workers express sincerely because I am in the same situation as them. I hear a lot of film festival audiences telling me that through the director’s film they have come to know something they have not thought of before.”
Mamun is currently working on capturing Japanese military comfort women and women victims of the war in Bangladesh on one screen.
For him, who had concentrated on migrant workers, he was pioneering a new field.
If the aspect that received attention was strong because of the rarity of being a director from a migrant worker, he did not hide his willingness to see the game itself from now on.
As the nationality changes to Korea and the profession changes from a manual worker to a cultural artist, this person seems to see a new reality.
He said he was still thinking about whether to go to college and study film.
He said that whenever he realizes Korean culture that pushes and pulls each other based on academic relations, he thinks that way.
Some films are not good enough to appear at the festival, but I think that way when I see that they are submitted and received awards because of where they are from or because they are juniors.
If you don't have a connection, you can't succeed in Korean society, but when you say that you don't have such a connection, you can see the loneliness of the borderline.
After talking with him for over four hours, I thought it would be difficult to find someone who could speak Korean as well as this person.
Not only the concept language mixed with Chinese characters, but also Korean proverbs and jokes were perfectly spoken.
When I asked if there was anything I couldn't understand during a conversation with another person, he replied:
"I watch a broadcast debate program, and sometimes I don't understand very well. But at that time, my wife won't know what I mean."
Even a person who speaks this well said that it is difficult to write in Korean.
Mamun said that when he published a column in the Hankyoreh Newspaper in 2018, he received help from Korean colleagues and his wife.
When I asked if it was difficult to say that it was written by myself, he said it was not.
In addition to the content and overall composition of the column, he said he was involved in correcting a single word.
Even now, he said that when he was working on the script, he was helped by a colleague.
He has lived in Korea for 22 years, where money is treated like God's level.
Isn't that someone who came to a strange country because of money?
Whenever asked about money, such as
salary, activity fees, rent, security deposit, apartment purchase cost, movie production cost, etc.
, he answered with a clear number.
He didn't talk about his envy for a lot of money, nor did he show any frustration that he couldn't do anything because he didn't have it.
The housekeeping was covered by his wife's salary, and he seemed to cover the activity expenses with his own income.
His fixed income was almost all of his activities expenses of several hundred thousand won received as a migrant union officer.
Nevertheless, he didn't say it was hard because of the money.
This man's fluent Korean language was mixed with Seo Sun-young's logic, Kim Eun-seok's argument, and Han Jun-kyung's sensibility.
What the Korean friends in Mamun would have said was a bit of a guess just by listening to this person.
The issue of migrant workers' rights is perfectly expressed in his own logic, but in some parts, he seemed to be translating the stories he heard from Korean activists.
It would be inevitable in some way that the shadows of Korean human rights activists were cast on this person, but sometimes this person's words were verbose and rattle.
It wouldn't be irrelevant that some of his newspaper columns gave that feeling.
6. He said that there are at least four or five people calling on the phone a day.
Most of them simply call to hear his voice without any special needs, but sometimes calls for help urgently.
"Not long after I came to Korea, a junior who couldn't speak Korean called me saying it was a Nike store. I was trying to buy a jumper, but the clerk told me to go out without selling clothes. When I asked for a change, the clerk said to me. The price is over 150,000 won, and it seems like this Bangladeshi is trying to live without knowing the price. What does a person from a poor country try to wear such expensive clothes?
Koreans think that migrant workers should not wear such clothes. It
seems you know.
Isn't this discrimination and prejudice?
We also have a desire to wear good clothes, and that's why we make money like bad things."
The average monthly wage of migrant workers, which was around 800,000 won 6-7 years ago, is now about 1.9 million won.
It is necessary to confirm whether the number he said is correct, but it seems correct to see migrant workers also thanks to the increase in the minimum wage.
Mamun said that the living standards and patterns of migrant workers have changed greatly as wages have risen, but
Korean society will still give money, so they are told to only work.
Mamoon demanded that Korean society recognize the desire of migrant workers for a better life and more opportunities.
“I'll give you more money, so I tell you to work on Saturday, but migrant workers also have things they want to do on weekends. In the past, there were a lot of migrant workers who had no capacity to do anything else but now have the ability to enjoy little by little. But Korean people don't know that."
Human desires are like water, so if there is a small gap somewhere, they dig into the gap, and when the desires drop by drop, they make a hole, make a waterway, and someday cross the bank.
Sometimes the bank is destroyed.
So, Mamun’s words sounded as warnings, not thanks.
“Nine out of ten migrant workers are grateful for Korea. Many people don't have a job, but
I think I'm
grateful that the
boss has chosen me to work in Korea.
I have this mind, so there is no one who speaks out on the street. , I think it's because I'm wrong, even if I'm discriminated against, and even if I'm exploited and difficult, I think that I have to endure this degree. I can."
There is also an opinion that foreign workers are the people who benefited the most from the increase in the minimum wage, and that the current employment permit system is not bad compared to that of Japan or Taiwan.
There is no fear that migrant workers will move in search of a job that gives them a penny if they are guaranteed the freedom to move to the workplace, and it is hard to argue that this will increase the damage of employers who have tried to hire foreign workers.
Above all, it is not so simple to answer the question why Korean laws should be made and maintained for foreigners, not Koreans.
-Has there been any improvement in the attitude of Korean society toward migrants?
"Why isn't there any better? There are things that have definitely improved, such as the three labor rights guaranteed by the implementation of the Employment Permit System in 2004. But I would like to ask: Has Korean society made tremendous progress in 16 years compared to 2004? Then, Korea As society has developed, has Koreans' attitude toward migrant workers improved as well. I don't think it is."
Mamun said that since this is Korean land, it is natural for the Korean government to get jobs for Korean workers first.
He also said that he knows that there are many irregular workers who are still suffering from employment insecurity and that there are small workplaces where even basic rights are not guaranteed.
That said, it cannot be justified to ignore the reality of migrant workers who have to be tied to one workplace like slaves.
7. Father Lee Young of the Korea Success Association, who is in charge of Namyangju Foreign Welfare Center, is a person whose radius of action overlaps with Mamun, centering on Maseok since 2003.
It played a key role in the establishment of the unannounced award.
He points out that our society is ignoring the fact that foreign workers are now filling the positions occupied by Jeon Tae-il and Gong-soon, who were called Gongdol 50 years ago.
He asked him, who had participated in the Moon Jae-in camp in 2012 and 2016, if there were any differences in policies for migrant workers depending on the regime.
“For migrant workers, no government is interested in progress or conservatism. We only look at foreign workers in terms of the use of their labor force, but they are completely and completely blank in guaranteeing them a human life and legitimate workers' rights. ."
The multicultural society the government refers to means that foreign immigrants call K-pop like Koreans, but does not mean that foreign immigrants enjoy their culture on Korean soil, he said.
In the issue of migrant workers, he argued, that Korea is very narrow in both sides.
Migrant workers are those who exist but are invisible and are needed but not welcomed.
You have to endure discrimination and contempt, and even face potential criminals.
I hear people say they're taking my job.
Although migrant unions exist under the KCTU, the interest in the reality of migrant workers should not be greater than that of non-regular workers and platform workers.
Since they do not have the right to vote, there are no parties that actively represent their political interests.
In that sense, migrant workers are the most lonely and difficult people on the planet.
People who live with us, but their voices have hardly ever been heard in our society.
As if the voices of Jeon Tae-il and his friends 50 years ago did.
But I can't think that forever they will remain silent.
Recently, Nepalese migrant workers published a collection of poetry titled <This is a City of Machines>.
Conclude by transcribing part of a poem in this article.
the one who left my old parents
squatting like mountains
on the sunset horizon
suffering with the pain of childbirth
my wife to abandon
'm a man came by breaking down their heart
lives yitorok difficult times are coming by
now wearing the shackles of your machine
's moving be a super machine
the sweat shed costs
do danghaeya Why ignore ?
Why should I be hurt by
Don't ignore my sweat anymore Don't
hurt my pride anymore
Because I'm the same, I'm
a person with senses like you
on this planet
Nirgerraz Rai <The lamentation of a super machine>