About Luc Forsyth
Luc Forsyth is a freelance photojournalist and writer who specializes in social and humanitarian storytelling. This is his blog, a place to share photography, writing and ideas.
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Luc is a collaborating member of the Ruom Collective. Bringing together journalists, researchers, videographers, and photographers, the collective provides an opportunity to exchange and share information - providing multiple perspectives and more depth to long-term documentary projects.
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Tag Archives: korean nun
While walking around the sidestreets of Nam Guro with some friends, I met a nun named Hong Seun-Hwa. Korean religious types, particularly of the Catholic and Jehova’s Witness persuasion, always seem eager to talk with foreigners – and more often than not have a decent command of English. Seun-Hwa curiously approached me as I was sitting on a ledge taking photos of a small blue door. Apparently she lived behind said blue door along with 35 of her sisters. For the next 25 minutes she gave me some historical background of the area (as well as encouraging me to see the wisdom of God).
Apparently the name Guro comes from a legend that once nine (“gu” in Korean) old men enjoyed “a miraculously long life in the area”, and so the neighbourhood was renamed in celebration of their longevity. Having lived in the area for many years, Seun-Hwa had witnessed the dramatic changes in the area as the municipal government rezoned Guro into a modern digital business area.
I wasn’t allowed to follow her into the convent, though I’m not sure if thats because I’m a man, or because I told her I wasn’t Catholic. But the fact that there were 35 Korean nuns living behind a non-descript concrete wall confirms that in Seoul there is a story behind every door, even if it can’t be seen from the street.