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Gwangju Democracy Forum

The Gwangju Democracy Forum (GDF) is an annual international forum of the May 18 Memorial Foundation during the May 18 week to bring together democracy advocates, activists, researchers to discuss and reflect on the state and challanges of democracy and human rights at the local, national and global levels as a way to commemorate and practice globally the spirit of the May 18 Democratic Uprising in 1980.

In 2021, the GDF is the new name to replace the Gwangju Asia Forum which started in 1999 in order to regenerate the energy and reshape the vision in the context of the emerging challenges to democracy in the world.

2022 Gwangju Democracy Forum

Theme An Answer to Global Crisis – Collaboration and Solidarity
Thematic Clusters
■ Defining an Incomplete Transitional Justice
■ COVID-19 and Democracy
■ Democracy in Asia - Prospects for 2022
Modality In Person, Virtual, and Hybrid
Date May 18 ~ May 21, 2022
Participants More than 400 (Online and In person)

2021 Gwangju Democracy Forum

Theme COVID-19 and Glocal Democracy – Impact, Challenges and Opportunities
Thematic Clusters
■ State Violence, Impunity, and Transitional Justice
■ Democratization Movement in Asia – Threats and Challenges
■ Open, Inclusive and Participatory Democracy
■ New Challenges and Opportunities for Democracy
■ Democratization Movement and Civil Society
Modality In Person, Virtual, and Hybrid
Date May 17 ~ May 21, 2021
Participants More than 700 participants (Online and In person)

2020 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Solidarity for Justice and Peace of Asia
Thematic Clusters
■ Democracy and Transitional Justice
■ Retrogression of Asia’s Democracy and Counter-Action
■ State Violence and Solidarity
Modality In Person, Virtual, and Hybrid
Date May 17 ~ May 21, 2020
Participants 250 participants (Online and In person)

2019 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Genocide and Refugees: State Violence and State Responsibility to Protect Its People
Thematic Clusters
■ Truth-finding for the May 18 Democratic Uprising
■ Refugees: Beyond Discrimination and Hatred
■ Unfinished Mission: Rightiong Past InjusticeL Outcomes and Prospects
Modality In Person
Date May 17 ~ May 21, 2019
Participants 550

2018 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Time to Implement
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 19, 2018
Participants 400

2017 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Resist! From Gwangju 1980 to Candlelight Vigil 2017
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 20, 2017
Participants 350

2016 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme State Violence and Historical Distortion
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 18, 2016
Participants 350

2015 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Solidarity for Social Justice
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 18, 2015
Participants 360

2014 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Civil Society's Responsibility for Restoration of Democracy and Justice
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 18, 2014
Participants 300

2013 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Civil Society’s Engagement in Human Rights and Democracy
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 18, 2013
Participants 528

2012 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Toward Righteous Change
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 18, 2012
Participants 300

2011 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Globalizing Human Rights from Below
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 18, 2011
Participants 400

2010 Gwangju Asia Forum

Theme Past, Today, and Future of Asia
Modality In Person
Date May 16 ~ May 18, 2010
Participants 400
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