Jeju Island in South Korea is known for its characteristic basalt volcanic rock. It is the home of the renowned Haenyeo or women of the sea who free-dive off the black shores of Jeju, harvesting delicacies from the sea.
Wearing thin rubber suits and old fashioned goggles, this aging group of women are celebrated as a national treasure and inscribed on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The tradition, however, is slowly fading as fewer women choose this extremely hazardous profession.
Today, most Haenyeo are over the age of 50, with many well over 70. In a society obsessed with education, the future of this physically arduous activity would appear bleak.
However, efforts by the government and local communities to preserve and promote this ecological and sustainable lifestyle have brought renewed interest from young people disillusioned with urban life and eager to return to their roots.
This exhibition is outdoors. Please check what COVID-19 restrictions are in place before you visit.
Alain Schroeder is a Belgian photojournalist whose work has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers. In 1989, he founded Reporters, a well-known photo agency in Belgium that he led into the digital age.
In 2013, he traded in his stake in Reporters to pursue life on the road with a camera. Schroeder now travels the world, capturing stories that focus on social issues, people and their environment.
His work has featured in over thirty books dedicated to various countries and locations worldwide, including China, Persia, Ancient Rome, the gardens of Europe, and many more. He has won many international awards, including Nikon Japan, Nikon Belgium, TPOTY, and World Press Photo
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