Welcome to International Underground
Founded in 2009 by English teachers in Seoul, International Underground seeks to give voice to under-reported populations around the world. Through diverse multimedia projects, our community of journalists and creative producers bring life and voice to the migrant laborers, the impoverished, the homeless, the battered and other groups pushed to the margins of their communities.
Our first project took an in-depth look at Korea’s fourth largest migrant labor population, Filipinos. While Filipinos can be found working various jobs throughout the world, the population in Seoul is made distinctive by the weekly Filipino Market in Hyehwa-dong. The market sprawls across a block from the Catholic Church around the Hyehwa Rotary. Each Sunday, Filipinos flock to this small neighborhood of one of the world’s largest cities to attend mass, send money home to their families in the Philippines, and receive medical services at the volunteer-run Raphael Clinic. One day each week, this discrete corridor transforms into a uniquely multicultural hub in a city that normally believes itself homogeneous. Here the migrant workers gather to speak their native language and help each other with issues at their jobs. More than anything, our sources told us again and again that the market serves as a unique place where once each week, they can feel like they are in the Philippines.
Inside Seoul’s Filipino Community is an example of the kind of storytelling that we will focus on at International Underground – in-depth, multimedia stories that allow our readers to better understand a community or issue that doesn’t receive enough coverage. If you think you would like to be part of our unique community of writers and creative producers, please contact us at info [at] iu.harmsboone.org.