Comfort Women in “Zomergasten” on Dutch tv

Sunday August 26, famous Dutch writer Adriaan van Dis is guest on Dutch National tv in the 3-hour long interview program “Zomergasten” (NL2, 8.15 pm: http://programma.vpro.nl/zomergasten). Among the tv fragments show during the interview will be one from the documentary “Omdat wij mooi waren” (“Because We Were Beautiful”), in which film maker Frank van Osch is following writer Hilde Janssen and me during our search for “comfort women.”

During World War II, the Japanese military set up a system for sex slavery: Tens of thousands of “comfort women” in the Asian countries they occupied were forced into prostitution at military brothels. In addition, many girls were abused sexually in railroad wagons, factory warehouses or night after night at home. Most of these women have suffered physical and emotional consequences ever since.
Jan Banning and Hilde Janssen visited Indonesian women who during the war were victims of forced sexual labor. In their photo book “Comfort Women”, 18 of them break the persistent taboo against speaking out on the issue. Short narratives accompanying the portraits depict the fate of these and other former comfort women, painting a gripping picture of this hidden history.

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