The sinking of the Sewol ferry in April, 2014, claimed 304 lives, 250 of them students on a school field trip. Though the first anniversary has passed, however, the official investigation into the government's handling of the disaster has yet to begin. There are lingering questions regarding the role of the South Korean state, its authoritarian stance, the absence of the leadership and the neglect of duties during and after the tragedy. The scope of the disaster is so vast and the degree of injustice and indignity the families have been suffering is grave. I have been following the story for the past year and striving to tell their story to a larger audience. The victims' families' grieving has been prolonged by the lack of investigation and by what they call the South Korean government's neglect and foul play. Sewol means “passing of time” in Korean. And the bereaved families are still enduring the passing of time, while the South Korean public become increasingly impatient and hostile towards them.
Jun Michael Park is a documentary photographer and visual journalist from Seoul, South Korea. Jun has worked for Der Spiegel, Welt am Sonntag, Brand Eins, Cicero and Greenpeace Magazine in Germany, LA Times, Financial Times, Bon Appétit Magazine, Lonely Planet Magazine Korea, Save the Children, Asia Society Korea Center and National Film Board of Canada among other publications and organizations. Jun is a winner of a Silver award in Press-Feature Story category at Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) 2015 and is a participant of the Eddie Adams Workshop XXVIII in New York. He is represented by laif agency in Germany and available for assignment and commission worldwide.