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Geographies of Kinship: A Conversation with Filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem and Adoption Rights Activist Kim Stoker

May 10, 2021 @ 2:40 pm - 4:00 pm  |  Virtual Event


THI’s Forgotten Wars Research Cluster and the Center for Racial Justice have partnered to present a conversation on the war-forged Korean adoptee diaspora with the director of Geographies of Kinship Deann Borshay Liem and adoption rights activist Kim Stoker, facilitated by Amy Ginther (Theater Arts). (About the film: In a tale about the rise of Korea’s global adoption program, four adult adoptees who were raised in foreign families return to their country of birth, mapping the geographies of kinship that bind them to a homeland they never knew. Along the way they question the policies and practices that led South Korea to become the world’s largest “sending country”—with 200,000 children adopted out to North America, Europe, and Australia. Emboldened by w’hat they have experienced and learned, they become advocates for birth family and adoptee rights, support for single mothers, and historical reckoning).


It is recommended that attendees view the film before the event. Attendees with an email may watch the film for free at this website (under school email films, click “Geographies of Kinship”):

Deann Borshay Liem has over twenty years experience working in development, production and distribution of independent documentaries. She produced, directed, and wrote the Emmy Award-nominated documentary, First Person Plural (Sundance, 2000) and the award-winning films, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee (PBS, 2010) and Memory of Forgotten War (with Ramsay Liem; PBS, 2015). She served as executive producer for Spencer Nakasako’s Kelly Loves Tony (PBS, 1998) and AKA Don Bonus (PBS, 1996, Emmy Award); On Coal River by Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood (Silverdocs, 2010); Ishi’s Return by Chris Eyre (PBS, 2016); and Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story by Ben Wang (PBS, 2017). She also co-produced Special Circumstances by Marianne Teleki (PBS, 2009) and Burqa Boxers by Alka Raghuram (2016), and served as story editor for the award-winning film, The Apology, by Tiffany Hsiung (HotDocs, 2016). She was the former director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) where she supervised the development, distribution and broadcast of new films for public television and worked with Congress to support minority representation in public media. A former Sundance Institute Fellow, Deann directed, produced, and wrote the new documentary, Geographies of Kinship.

Kim Stoker lived in South Korea for almost twenty years. She was a leading activist for adoptee rights with Adoptee Solidarity Korea (ASK), the first adoptee-run political advocacy group of its kind. Returning to the country of her birth and building a life there has indelibly changed her outlook on the world, on the Koreas, and on international adoption. She’s currently based back in the United States where she works as a writer and editor.


May 10, 2021
2:40 pm - 4:00 pm