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Framed by WarKorean Children and Women at the Crossroads of US Empire$
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Susie Woo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479889914

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479889914.001.0001

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US Aid Campaigns and the Korean Children’s Choir

US Aid Campaigns and the Korean Children’s Choir

(p.57) 2 US Aid Campaigns and the Korean Children’s Choir
Framed by War

Susie Woo

NYU Press

This chapter focuses upon US aid efforts spearheaded by nongovernmental agencies in wartime and postwar Korea. It examines the work of the Christian Children’s Fund, the American-Korean Foundation (AKF), and World Vision, among others. The chapter pays special attention to the AKF-sponsored Korean Children’s Choir, which toured fifty American cities in 1954 to raise over $10 million for postwar recovery. While images of war waifs in US media helped Americans imagine Korea in the context of rescue and the choir furthered these scripts, the choristers also helped to reframe Korean children as anti-communists with radical democratizing potential. The singing choristers promoted healing and understanding between Korea and the United States on the heels of the war, and, perhaps inadvertently, helped American audiences who witnessed the performances imagine what it might be like to have Korean children in the United States permanently.

Keywords:   war waif, anti-communism, nongovernmental aid agencies, photography, Christian Children’s Fund, American-Korean Foundation, World Vision, Orientalism, Korean Children’s Choir, Korean Orphan Choir

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