Arts, Top Stories

A Night of Drama: Apples to Zombies

Last Thursday and Friday, students took to Fisher Theater to perform two nights of one-act plays and monologues. A project from the Invitation to the Theater course, the plays began at 7 pm , each lasting for about 1 hour 50 minutes — and definitely left the audience wanting more.

The cast consisted of 19 upper school students. Half of them were from the class, and the other half was consisted of students who wanted to explore the mysterious art of theater and the marvelous feeling of standing on a stage.

Directed by Mr. Burke Scarbrough and Mr. Ovie Ojeni, with technical direction by Mr. Brad Seymour as well as lighting and sound by Mr. Harry James, both performances were filled with student audiences who appreciated the effort of the actors greatly. On the second night, there were several students who went to see the play again because they had enjoyed it very much the night before.

The monologues and plays were comedy, drama, sci-fi, and a murder mystery.

The most entertaining and best received play was Outcome by S.W. Senek, which is about a married couple waiting for the results of a pregnancy test. Bob and Lisa, played by Osiris Russell-Delano and Naomi Jones, argue over many issues concerning their future if they were to have a baby. Keeping the audience in a never-ending chorus of laughter, the couple showed remarkable chemistry on scene. It was impossible not to be engaged throughout, where the only prop on stage was a sink dividing the couple across the stage, the small stick sitting on an edge.

World Without Memory, a heart-felt play about a man who gets Alzheimer’s, made the audience care for old Bob, played by Connor Black, and his daughter and her husband, played by Valeria Ocando and Wynston Turner, who portrayed the roles splendidly.

The Blizzard by David Ives was a well-staged and designed one-act play that had a lot of potential. This murder mystery noticeably challenged the actors to try and portray both murderers and potential murder victims. Some say comedy is the hardest genre — I could argue that this mystery made me change my mind. Jenny and Neil, played by Aryanna Rosario and Osberto Gomez-Santana were the victims to strangers Salim (Dimitris Beis) and Natasha (Caitlin Chung).

Decoding Fruit, a story about troubled siblings, was well-performed but not all that amusing. Some of the audience lost track of what was happening, but were impressed by the acting abilities of both Staci Grimes and Kline Dickens, who really appeared to be brother and sister while on stage.

The first play to be presented, The Actor’s Nightmare, was as amusing as it was confusing — and intentionally so. The play was very fast-paced and made a lot of references to things not everyone in the audience understood. Nevertheless, it showed hard work from the actors and a well-practiced stage presence. The main character, George (Syl Gibson), had a soliloquy that was very funny for the audience. The executioner (George Palaiologopoulos-Vagenas) had an undeniable presence in stage.

Zombie Love, a sci-fi romantic comedy, was cleverly acted by three girls: two alternated between the role of Walter the zombie and Emily (Mariana Verjan and Nirvana Khan), and another one played the best friend (Elena Gosalvez). This play was very short, and an ending to the one-acts that left the audience slightly confused by the plot twist at the end of the play.

The six monologues were very different from each other, and each presented diverse topics. From a self-written monologue about Venezuela, to an extract from Paradise Lost, to a monologue about equality. The six students were not afraid to stand in the spotlight and speak from their hearts.

Justice in our streets, presented by Staci Grimes, was an excellently-performed monologue and engaging to the audience. The words were meaningful and heartfelt when the actress expressed them. She left a high bar for the rest of the performances, though she was the ninth performance of the play.

Many of the actors were not native English speakers, which one could assume would be a challenge for the directors and for the actors themselves to work on their pronunciation and voice.

“All the international students did pretty great,” said Connor Black, an Upper School student  who mentioned his expectations for the plays were exceeded.

This seems to be a common opinion, the play had a very positive impact on everyone who saw it. Only four weeks of work gave way for an amazing two-hour experience, which left us all wishing we could see more.

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Kissing Exeter Adieu: A Summer Flown By

Everybody grab a tissue — the 2017 Exeter Summer session is rapidly coming to an end. Over the past five weeks, students have made inseparable and unlikely friendships with one another. Now, the time has come for them to say goodbye.

“I’m gonna miss the friendships that I’ve made here in a short amount of time,” said Jules Taylor, an upper school student from Fayetteville, North Carolina. “Even though we have only been here for five weeks, I feel like I have met some of my best friends here.”

For many of students, the most difficult part of the summer will be saying goodbye to those with whom they have made deep connections. These connections may never be broken, or they sadly may never be as powerful as they once were.

Cj Drapeau, a day student from New Hampshire, when asked about what he will miss most after everybody departs from campus, said, “The people … I’ve made a lot of good friends over these five weeks and I feel like it’s going to be hard to let go.”

It is no surprise to people that this is a very emotional time, even for the students that live locally. Seeing your newly-made friends go back to their homes, whether it be a different state or even country, is emotional regardless.

“I’ve made a lot of close friends but it’s by rare chance that I will ever see them again,” said Lyon Kim, an access student from Manhattan. Despite the good times students have had together and all of the memories they have made, the distance between each other may end up being too far to conquer.

Despite the friendships made here at Exeter, they are not only will people be taking home with them. Students from all over the globe came to experience the astounding and innovative way of learning: Harkness. Harkness has become a new way for students to learn.Students claimed to have been fascinated by the Harkness method, and want to keep doing it.

“Yea definitely, the Harkness setup is different from what my school does,” said Lyon Kim, an Access student said. “It helped me open my mind up to new opinions and a new way of thinking about things.” Students claimed to have been fascinated by the Harkness method, and want to keep doing it.

For older students, Exeter has prepared them for a new chapter of their life: college. Julia Constantin, a Upper school student from Switzerland, said “Exeter has also gave me a glimpse of what college may be like … I learned to manage my time, to get work done, eat, and hang out with friends. I also got used to having heavy workloads, which I don’t have much of back at home.”

The ending of 2017 Exeter Summer may be the last time students actually get to use the Harkness method, but they will definitely take back a unique learning skill. This skill can come in handy when students are challenged to work in some team-based activity later on in their lives.

This summer has been a game-changer for many students: not only did they get to learn with kids from around the world, but they also got to live in a diverse setting for five weeks. Many students are used to living in an area with people very similar to them, and Exeter challenged them to step out of their comfort zone and speak to someone new.

Despite this, however, the end of Exeter Summer should be a time to celebrate. Everybody should celebrate the new friendships they have made and the hope that they will be able to carry out these bonds until they meet again later in their lives. This summer has helped students to develop socially, academically, and culturally. These five weeks have flown by, but the memories will last a lifetime. 

Hey guys, good work getting interviews for this, a lot of different voices, which is great. You covered a bunch of different angles, and I think overall this story turned out well. Now go back through and read it carefully, I highlighted a few regions where mistakes should have popped out to you with another read-through. Especially where there were two of you working on this, they should be mistakes you catch. Yes, I’m the ‘editor’ for the story and it’s my role to catch those, too, but you should always give your story a preliminary edit before sending it off. Be vigilant about ensuring sentences are clear, complete, and that proper nouns are properly capitalized — there was a good amount of disparity present that I’ve noted.

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Master Storyteller Spins a Tale – His Own

When he came to speak to the students of Exeter Summer, Alex Meyers talked about one thing: stories.

Heaven knows he has many to tell. As an English teacher, author, speaker, and the first openly transgender student of both Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University — and is also a former student of Brown University — it would have been hard to choose just one experience to listen to. So he shared them all.

When asked what he hopes Exeter Summer students will get out of his experience, he said, “I would want them to think about their own gender as well as how to be a good friend and ally.”

Later in his speech, he addresses the million dollar question: what is gender? To understand that, you must understand the rest of his story.

“For as long as I can remember, I have always felt like I was a boy,” he began.

Alex Meyers was born Alice. He shared his inner turmoil growing up, about not feeling at home in his own skin. When relatives asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he knew exactly what it was. “I always told them I wanted to be a boy. I learned that this was not an acceptable answer.”

“You see me today, and I never got to be a doctor… but I did get to be a boy.”

His explanation of the “constant dissonance” he felt in his childhood struck a chord with the audience, which was composed of many students from many different cultures and backgrounds — some of whom may not have completely understood what Mr. Meyers was talking about.

However, everyone could understand the feeling he described, of being someone when the world told you not to be. Exeter has long been a place for people from all walks of life.

And that was where Mr. Meyers arrived in the fall of 1992. The diversity of the school was a shock to a child brought up in rural Maine, but it gave him room to blossom, first as a lesbian, and — by his return in senior year — as transgender.

“Exeter is a place where conversations happen,” he said. “It forced me to speak for myself.”

He explained the realization of his own identity in simple, universal tones. Staying in Boston the summer before his junior year, he began attending an LGBT youth group, identifying as a lesbian at that point. One meeting was devoted to a word, “transgender,” which Mr. Meyers had never heard before.

He listened to the panel of transgender teens who told him the meaning of the word for the first time: someone who is born as one sex but identifies as the other.

After this panel, he went along with the group of women, who were asked about their relationship with their own gender. Expecting that they would have had similar experiences to him, he was shocked when one by one, they spoke of their love of their own womanhood and how being a lesbian didn’t interfere with their femininity.

“When it got to be my turn, I stood up and I said, ‘I‘m sorry, but I think I’m in the wrong room,’” Mr. Meyers said.

But that was just the beginning of another story. He spoke of coming out to his parents, the hardest experience of his transition. Then he had to come out to his school.

He related his experience to that of the main character of his book: his famous ancestor, Deborah Sampson. Deborah Sampson was a woman who wanted independence in spite of her gender. A weaver during the Revolutionary War, she disguised herself as a man to fight for her country.

“I was told I had an ancestor who so loved her country that she wanted to serve it and that she watched the boys in her town march away to become soldiers, and was jealous and wanted to join them,” he said. “And so she did. And that was a story that I could understand.”

So in the end, gender to Alex Meyers “is like breathing air.” And stories are what you breathe in and out.

“There’s power to be found in stories,” he said. “Both the stories we’re told and the stories we tell about ourselves … We have to learn the stories. And then we have to make our own.”

Arts, Top Stories

Exeter Fashion Shows New Styles Afoot

How would you define your style this summer? These five weeks were all about fashion trends, as a result of the number of cultures and different personalities. Some of the popular clothing and shoe brands we could see in campus were AntiSocial Social Club, Sam Edelman (with the famous colorful pompoms shoes worn by Latinas), Vineyard Vines, Stan Smith, Psyco Bunny, and many more.

Nevertheless we were also able to see very particular styles, like the colorful and super comfortable pants of the Palestinians and the Saudi Arabians. These pants, called ¨La Suna¨ are commonly worn back home. As Faris Chaaban, 17, from Saudi Arabia said ¨Half of my friends were wearing them — it became a trend. After that I bought them, and I loved them.¨ He and his group of friends described these pants as stylish and really really comfortable. In addition this trend is very versatile: the fabric is very thin, so it is perfect for the weather in the Middle East, but also in Exeter; and they have designs with different patterns and colors for every personality.

Furthermore, a very unique style are the socks worn by some students. A great example is Carlos Martinez from Venezuela, who has made himself known for his particularly crazy socks. When asked about this style, he says ¨With these socks, I go with the flow.¨

The very uncommon part of this are the designs of avocados, pizzas, bananas, motorcycles, cars, knives, lobsters, mustaches, and many more. Also, he and his friends Carlos Fernandez and Francisco Romero believe that wearing singular socks reflects the cheerful and funny personality they all have.

On the other hand, we were able to see Jacinda Duesbury from New York, Justice Wysigner from Chicago and Lauren Carson from Memphis  with their characteristic hairstyles. These girls came to Exeter with box braids, but after four weeks they decided to go natural. in ¨Pufs.¨

The change was because they were tired of that style. Although it is easier to manage, they were too heavy and they were missing their natural hair. It came out to be a great result. Now they describe this style as ¨playful, chic, natural, cool and unique.¨ Also, this allows them to show off their outfits with the awesome hair.

After all, styles are all different and it is common that groups of friends from the same country have similar styles. Something great about this opportunity for all students was getting to know how some pants, socks, a different hairstyle and more trends are worn all around the world.


Climate Woes

On June 1, 2017, President Donald J. Trump announced the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. This is an agreement made in 2015 by almost 200 nations, which includes every fully recognized country. This agreement said that countries should reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to fight climate change. Except for Nicaragua and Syria, all countries were united by this agreement, but this list of countries is now one country short — the United States.

It was not a good idea for President Donald Trump to opt out of the agreement. While most of the world believes that climate change is real, President Trump seems to doubt the existence of climate change. Also, it seems as though many Republican Senators were advising the President to follow through with his original plan to pull out of the agreement. However, many of them who signed a letter encouraging the President to opt out represent the states that depend on burning fuel to support their economy.

President Trump is said to believe that climate change is a hoax. He also says that it was invented by China to discourage Americans from making American manufacturing monopolistic. However, he owns a hotel and golf course in Ireland, and made an application for a protective wall outside his golf course. The reason for the wall? To prevent erosion caused by climate change.

Climate change is a big issue. It is expected that the average temperature will expand by ten degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Climate change will also eventually cause droughts and heat waves if not stopped. Sea levels will also rise and countries such as Kiribati, Netherlands and the Maldives that are low-lying could be submerged within a century. On May 31, the United Nations sent out a Tweet saying, “Climate change is undeniable, Climate action is unstoppable, Climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable.”

Overall, Trump says that he thinks climate change is a hoax, but we do not think that is why he opted out. We think the President withdrew because he wants the United States to be the superior country of the world by earning more money. The problem is that this will happen in ways that will in the end speed up global warming. This shows that the President puts more value in the United States’ economy more than the environment.

President Trump may say that climate change is fake, but he cannot refuse to believe the facts itself. He is refusing to believe it to make the economy run smoother and grow faster. This is all happening without any care for the environment. If President Trump wants to help this country, he should get the US back into the Paris Climate Agreement.


The Sound of Music

As the Exeter Summer program draws to a close, everyone has a little bit of nostalgia for the past five exhilarating weeks: Classes, Sports, Activities, Friends and Memories. Despite coming from different continents and speaking different languages, students still manage to create friendships and connections amongst each other, thanks to a common shared interest. For some students, this interest is their passion for music.

Each weekday, music programs (including the Evening Ensemble, the Jazz Jam and the Glee Club) have taken place in the evening at the beautifully-furnished Forrestal-Bowld Music Building. There are also a plentiful selection of musical concerts and showings, allowing music-lovers to soak in some high-quality performances.

Access Exeter Showcase: Music, Theatre and Fun

On Monday night, two hours of one-acts, plays, songs and just overall awesomeness took place in Fisher Theatre: It was the Access Exeter showcase event, which featured  students from the drama class. Before the event even started, there were already crowds of people in the seats, their voices and chatter signaling the excitement of the moment. Once the program began, the audience immediately quieted down to let the voices of the performers shine onstage. They certainly did not disappoint: The plays and monologues were filled with strong emotions, which were carried out fluently through the voice and the body language of the budding actors and actresses.

After the intermission, the performers carried on, delivering some of the biggest highlights of the night: The passionate song performances of “If I ain’t got you” by Alicia Keys and “Someone Like You” by Adele; a captivating dance performance to the tune of Mulan, and the play “Sure Thing”, which provided comical relief and set everyone in the room into hysterical laughter. The popularity of these acts was reflected through the audience’s cheers, which would burst out in waves of screaming, clapping and yelling after each showstopper.

For all performers, but especially for those who haven’t had any experience on stage, this event has certainly been a great accomplishment. Their high-quality performances and captivating acts created an enjoyable night for audience members.

Jazz Concert in Agora

The Agora, a popular hang-out spot for students, was slightly modified for the Jazz Concert on Wednesday night: Tables and chairs were moved to make room for a stage, where the musical instruments can be placed. This drew the attention of small crowds of students, as they began to fill in the comfortable couch seating, awaiting the show.

The show started off with a few tunes from the Jazz & Improvisation Class: As the music kicked in, students relaxed with the jazzy beat and the uplifting melodies. Whenever a musician finished off a solo, the audience would acknowledge his/her work with a brief round of applause. Some students even recorded the performance on their phones, hoping to savor the moment.

Upon finishing the last tune, the Jazz & Improvisation Class dispersed and it was the “official” end of the concert. However, although the concert was technically over and the crowd had dispersed, students from the weekly “Jazz Jam” session assembled in the Agora to play some tunes as well. Despite having a much smaller audience, the Jazz Jam group put on their best display and played beautifully.

The whole event was staged in a casual setting, and the performance from the Jazz Jam group had been impromptu. But still, this didn’t stop the musicians from expressing their passion and emotions through each and every tune of the evening.


A Talent For Excellence

Last Saturday night was unlike any other we’ve spent here at Exeter Summer. It was the night of the highly anticipated talent show. The show was rightly dubbed ‘Exeter’s got talent’, because as we witnessed that night, the Exeter community does harbor some extraordinary talent.

People began filing in half an hour before the show commenced, in order to grab the best seats in the assembly hall. While some came only for entertainment, others were there to support friends who were brave enough to mount the stage and perform.

The atmosphere was saturated with the high expectations of the audience. People chattered excitedly and didn’t even notice the slight delay caused by technical difficulties. Meanwhile most of the performers sat solemnly, bracing themselves for their time in the spotlight.

The first act to take the stage was talented pianist, Luis Vera Toral. He received a thunderous applause for his soothing rendition of the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen.  However, he wasn’t the only instrumentalist to grace the stage. Pranav Ramesh, access student, played a Scott Choplin piece as well as a traditional song from his homeland, India. His performance may well have given Beethoven a run for his money. Samuel Luc Muzac, 14, became one of the audience’s favorites after his extraordinary performance on the viola. “I’ve been playing since I was about 7,” he said. “Now I play in an orchestra back home in Boston called the Chamber Orchestra.”

The show was not lacking talented vocalists. A grand total of six singers as well as an acapella group treated the audience to remarkable performances, each with something unique to offer. The acapella group performed the fan favorite “Cup song”, accompanied by choreography. They had most of the audience singing along in no time. Zoe Cheng wowed the crowd with her opera-like performance.

Variety existed amongst the acts in the sense that not performer was musically inclined. We had an amusing performance by comedians Dorothy Baker and William Freedman, who sent the crowd into bouts of laughter. Additionally, there was a performance by dancer extraordinaire, Lal Gurgenc. Lal, who has been dancing since the age of 6, claims she made up her entire spectacular routine off the top of her head. “Dance is something free for me,” she said. “I hate choreography and I just feel the music and move in the moment.”

The performer that knocked everyone’s socks clean off was none other than the 15-year-old magician Selim Bayar, Exeter’s very own Houdini. According to Selim this was his first ever performance in front of a large audience but he had fun and gained a lot of confidence from the experience, although it wasn’t entirely his idea to join the show. “My friends call me a demon,” he said. “They forced me to join the talent show using threats. They were joking of course, but I still did it.” Witnessed testified that Selim’s tricks were mind boggling. Even more astounding, is the fact that he started doing magic tricks only last summer by watching YouTube videos.

“It was very brave of the Access kids to perform in front of everyone,” said Andrea Rivera, 17 year old Upper schooler from Florida. Andrea wasn’t the only one who noticed that majority of the performers were Access students. Students across campus commend the access students for performing although it may have been more nerve racking for them, being younger.

People couldn’t seem to get enough of the talent show. Some also expressed their regret for not signing up early enough. It was suggested that the talent show be held more than once to give more people the opportunity to share their talent. There is no doubt that Exeter holds more talent than the 14 performances we saw.


Second Summer

This is my second summer here at Exeter, and this year blew me away no less than the last. Last summer truly changed my life, in that it inspired me to look for educational options away from my local high school. I was an Access student in 2016, and am an Access student this year as well.

My Summer ‘16 global community classes challenged my beliefs about the world that I live in, introduced me to exciting pieces of literature, and inspired me to pursue a new language. This year, as a student in the CSI cluster, I have dived deeper into forensic science and detective fiction. Our final assignment for forensic science is a full-on “investigation” into the murder of a staff member.

Photography class has not only broadened my instagrammer view of the art form, but caused me many laughs when I have had to say to my friends “Wait! I have to take a picture of that!” in the middle of some totally unrelated event.

On another note, as a two-time member of the summer GSA, I am astounded by the new level of invigoration in this year’s group. The fact that so many of us were passionate enough to actually organize a sit down with the deans is magical to me. However, the most important part of both summers has been the friends I have made here. They have changed my life more than anything else. Inside and outside the classroom, they never fail to amaze me. The people at Exeter Summer are wildly talented, fascinatingly smart, humorously witty, and undoubtedly some of the most caring and accepting I have ever met. Exeter and its people have made me the person I am today, and will forever hold a special place in my heart.


How Our Fears Shape Us

Fear.  A reaction to be processed by a brain region known as the amygdala. Usually we think of monsters under the bed, but to be honest, you can be truly afraid of anything in your life. Some people’s fears can consist of anything from rodents to people who look different, act different, or have different views. These fears can vary from small stereotypes that we just have to learn to break, to discriminating against people who have different beliefs than you.

Some people’s fears are not really theirs. It is scientifically proven that we have an “innate capacity for fear,” (Scientific American). Fear is passed down through generations, “The estimate of genetic contributions to a specific phobia range roughly from 25-65%” This demonstrates how the world that our children are being raised in impacts their view on society. For example, if we raise our children in a world that is homophobic, they often grow up with a closed mind on that topic with a preconception that it is wrong to be gay or wrong to “come out.”

\We need to be better about raising our children in a community that is open and nurturing for the benefit of  society. While we may not possess the gene for fear, passing it through generations, the manner we raise our children and the views we impart should be positive with the hope it will result in the same.

We respond to fear with our past, our experiences influence our fears. If we could just reduce our fears by associating positive experiences with things that we fear, we could easily overcome them. This process is known as “Fear Extinction.” (Scientific American) If it is as easy for us to rid ourselves of the fear as it is to become fearful, then why are we so inclined to take the easy route, which is to contain the fear, which is proven to worsen things. One of the biggest problems is that we shut out our fears and differences instead of talking about them.

For us to fully understand how easy it is for fear to become discrimination, we may find, unfortunately, Xenophobia. Perhaps today’s biggest discrimination problem. Most people think that xenophobia is only a fear of foreigners, but in reality, it is a general fear of strangers including their politics and cultures, which usually should be perceived as a wonderful and beneficial thing to society.

“Xenophobia is simply the result of poor upbringing or alienation from people and cultures different than one’s own. Xenophobia is used interchangeably with racism, but racism and xenophobia are two very different things” (All About Counseling). Xenophobia is a fear, and racism is a type of discrimination. While we do not opine that xenophobia lacks discrimination, it is a fear, unlike racism. People with xenophobia neither understand nor accept that their condition is based in fear, yet it is “the perceived threat of losing one’s own identity, culture and imagined superiority or purity that initially spurs the disorder” (Scientific American).

Our fears are what shape us; certainly they take from our daily life, certainly they also enhance it by allowing us to conquer our fears and share our struggles with others to teach them to overcome their phobias. Fear makes us stronger. When we begin to fear things, we must consider whether our fears result in discrimination against others or whether they provide introspection to ourselves.


North Korean Dispute

The Korean division is now approaching its eighth decade. North Korea has been one of the world’s most secretive societies and is still under nominally communist rule. The country emerged in 1948 amid the chaos of WWII. Its past is dominated by its “Supreme Leader” Kim Il Sung, who shaped political affairs for almost half a century. Now we need to re-shape everything again.

North Korea’s nuclear ambitions have exacerbated its rigidly maintained isolation from the rest of the world. Decades of this rigid state-controlled system have led to stagnation and a leadership dependent on the cult of personality. The totalitarian state also stands accused of systematic human rights abuses. Yet, radio and TV sets in NK are already tuned into government stations which show a stream of propaganda.

The other side of the story, however, is that NK is ridden with poverty, famine and inequality – there isn’t a glimpse of freedom in sight and it’s a kingdom of puppets. High poverty rates of forty percent reign over people’s lives, as the government idly sits by doing nothing to help with it. The country declares that healthcare is free but the residents are denied unless they can pay high prices for the medicine which they cannot afford. There are approximately twenty-four million in poverty, constantly having that burden added onto their already stressful lives.

Kim Jong Un on the other hand lives a luxurious life spending $30 million on bottles alcohol and has a watch that costs another $8.2 million. He certainly seems to be enjoying life.

In NK, people need to calculate their every move, because even a toe out of line could send them to life in jail, labor camps and even death! Death rates at these camps are reported very high. U.S and South Korean officials estimate that between 80,000 and 120,000 people are imprisoned.

The Three Generation Punishment is a vicious consequence, in which if one person does something wrong, not only will they be placed in the lurid labor camps, but also their child and grandchild. The legal system is greatly flawed, just like the political system where elections are falsified to continue the oppressive rule of the Kim family.

How it works is that people can be arrested for not “voting” for them, although beforehand the president is already selected by the government – which is yet another way in which there isn’t any freedom of choice there. A defector, Lee So-yeon, talked about how she felt when she experienced the outside world, saying “I was shocked by freedom — that I didn’t need permission to do anything! I could vote for whomever I wanted.”

In addition to this, there is a serious lack of religious choice or freedom. Everyone is forced into atheism. In 2016 November Mr. Ban was forced into labor for 15 years because he had a Bible with him. It is known that NK also captures tourists if they believe in Christianity because it is “too western.” The reason for this are also that the country’s rulers want to be seen as divine beings, and believe that if people have access to religion they won’t see them like that anymore.

There is something which should also be mentioned, and that is the gross inequality of women in NK. Women are not treated equally by law. They can never be in a higher position than men, and generally will not be taken seriously in the eyes of the law if anything is done to them. This is why 68 percent of defectors are North Korean females.

Phil Robertson, an expert on the matter, says that, “women face severe gender discrimination at work and home, and sexual harassment and violence that the authorities do nothing to stop.” Accounts given by a group of anonymous defectors on the women’s rights situation in NK state that women (specifically)  are sexually assaulted a lot and asked for sexual favours, especially on trains when it is dark. If the authorities find out, nothing is done despite the trauma given to the woman.

So what can the UN do to defeat North Korea and their barbaric ways? With the matter at hand, one might assume that there’s a lack of solutions. However, there are options to trigger the downfall of the Kim dynasty.

One is to address its major trading partners and supporters. A country which has been allies with NK since 1950 is China – a main source for its food and energy, as well as maintaining the dynasty. There has been more of a strained relationship between the two countries, yet the sourcing continues. Although in many cases, this aid could tend to the abhorrent situation of mass starvation in a country, the people who are suffering still aren’t helped in NK. Instead, they continue to live like this, struggling every day, even having to buy basic supplies on the notorious North Korean black markets. Though there are sanctions on NK, China keeps doing what they do. We believe that to solve this problem, sanctions should be put on China by various UN countries so that they stop trading or aiding NK.

Another way to stop NK gaining power is to ban their government officials and leaders from countries in the UN. If they step foot in one of the countries, they should be imprisoned. This stops the country’s power buildup, and therefore it will be easier to defeat in the future.

As a last resort only, military intervention should be used. We firmly believe that this should be reserved to Plan B. But, if all else fails, we cannot leave the North Korean citizens to live the lie their government is feeding them – they don’t even get food. The military intervention should be done specifically by South Korea and the U.S as these countries would be most effective in the downfall of the brutal, inhumane Kim dynasty. There is no guarantee that it’ll work, but we hope it does as done in places like.

Collectively, the world needs to make an effort to save the North Koreans. A speech given by a teenage defector was where many realized the truth about how these people feel living in the oppressive nation. The young girl, barely sixteen years old recalled a time when she and her mother were “holding knives, prepared to kill themselves if they were going to be sent back to North Korea.”

These people have been fighting to survive in a land of malfeasance, and it is our duty to save them from it. So in the words of teenage defector Yeomini Park: “North Korea is indescribable. We need to focus on the people who are being forgotten.”