Youth Politics and Activism in East Asia: Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong

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Monday, March 26th, 2018

Monday, March 26, 20182:00PM - 5:00PMThe Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place (Devonshire Pl. & Hoskin Ave.)
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In a region where the Cold War has not ended; in a world where liberalism seems to be losing its appeal–how and why do young people enter politics in East Asia’s dynamic societies? How do these young political activists and their huge followers engage issues of colonial legacies, contested sovereignty, and global capitalism?

In this roundtable conversation, prominent young leaders LIN Fei-Fan 林飛帆 (Taiwan), EKyeong KWAK 곽이경 (South Korea), and Jeffrey NGO 敖卓軒 (Hong Kong) will discuss their mutual concerns and shared aspirations in this generational struggle.

Moderator: Ching-Fang HSU 許菁芳 (PhD Candidate, Political Science, UofT)

Faculty discussants:

Jennifer Chun (Sociology, UofT)
Tong Lam (History, UofT)

Interpreter for EKyeong KWAK 곽이경: Ju Hui Judy HAN (Gender Studies, UCLA)

Event Details:
RECEPTION: 4:00 – 5:00PM

Panelist Bios:

Ekyeong KWAK
EKyeong Kwak is the Director of External Relations & Solidarity at the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). In 2016-17, Kwak served on the coordinating committee for the Emergency National People’s Action for the Dismissal of Park Geun-Hye which mobilized millions of candlelight protesters over 6 consecutive months, leading to the impeachment of South Korea’s former president. In her capacity at KCTU, Kwak has worked in solidarity with human rights and social justice movements including the bereaved families of the Sewol ferry disaster and Nam-ki Baek, a former student-activist-turned-farmer who was killed by a high-power police water cannon at a national labour rally. Kwak is a leading queer social justice activist, spearheading efforts to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and other sexual minority and gender non-conforming persons. She has previously served as the Policy Director of the National Korean Women’s Trade Union and the Chairperson of Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea.

LIN Fei-fan (林飛帆)
Lin Fei-fan is one of the leaders of Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and the founding president of the Taiwan March Foundation, which mainly advocates for the rectification of the Referendum Act of Taiwan. He is also a member of the Network of Young Democratic Asians (NOYDA), formed by young activists across Asia in April 2016. He began as a student activist during the 2008 Wild-strawberry Movement, and he participated in the Anti-Media Monopoly Movement in 2012 among many other civil movements. He also contributed to several of the campaigns of the third-parties’ candidates during the election of 2016. He received his MA degree in Political Science from National Taiwan University in 2017 and is currently undertaking another graduate degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK.

Jeffrey NGO
Jeffrey Ngo is a visiting scholar jointly affiliated with the Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library and the Munk School of Global Affairs who studies the history of Hong Kong’s sovereignty. He is also chief researcher for Demosisto, the Hong Kong youth pro-democracy political party. His writing has appeared in, among others, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from New York University.


LIN Fei-fan 林飛帆
Leader, Taiwan Sunflower Movement Founding President, Taiwan March Foundation

Jeffrey Ngo 敖卓軒
Visiting Scholar, Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library and the Munk School of Global Affairs

Tong Lam
Director, Global Taiwan Studies Program, Asian Institute Associate Professor, History

Jennifer Chun
Director, Centre for the Study of Korea, Asian Institute Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Ju Hui Judy HAN
Interpreter for EKyeong KWAK 곽이경
Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Gender Studies

Ekyeong Kwak 곽이경
EKyeong Kwak, Director of External Relations & Solidarity, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Global Taiwan Studies Program


Dr. David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies

Centre for the Study of Korea

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