Haenyeos, Traditional Female Sea Divers: Hidden but Precious Environment Activists to Remember
Seoul, Republic of Korea
2023, Senior, Film
Climate Hero: Haenyeo
As I grew up in South Korea, a country known for its rapid economic growth and industrialization, I can recall the changes in ocean colors and sky. Sky and ocean were once vivid blue, but they became dustier and darker with increasing waste and contamination.I have lived in a country where I witnessed the degradation of the environment, a price that all Koreans had to pay for prosperity. Since Grade 8, I began to act out my profound interest in the environment. Involved in the school Environment Club, I addressed the air/ocean pollution problems not only to the school community but also to the local/national community by participating in various environmental campaigns and contests. Through these experiences, I found that films/videos are the most powerful tool to reach the audience to raise their awareness of environmental problems. Thus, I passionately learned video production tools/skills, and also actively participated in the school's Media Club. It was while I was researching effective environment campaigns that I came across Korean Haenyeo. Their dedication to environmental protection touched me. These are people who have been with the sea for a long time. They are happiest when they swim deep in the sea; to them, the sea is a place of living and a dear friend. So, faced with ever-rising sea waste and temperature, they began to dive to clean garbage that fills the ocean floor. Haenyeos are holding yearly campaigns to save the sea. Their sacrifice and courage are touching the hearts of many Koreans. Haenyeo are true to the definition of the environmental hero we can encounter in our daily life.