After the Korean war (1950-53), South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Yet, less than thirty years later, it became the world’s 15th largest economy. This success can be partly explained by chaebols, huge conglomerates supported by dictator Park Chung-Hee between 1962 and 1979.
Established in 1938, Samsung (which means “Three Stars”) is the largest of those chaebols in South Korea. Even though Samsung is famous worldwide for its electronic devices, its influence in Korea goes far beyond that. Through its 79 subsidiaries, Samsung can be seen everywhere— from every layer of the society to every aspect of daily life. You can be born in a Samsung Hospital, study in a Samsung university, and live inside a Samsung apartment on a Samsung block. If that is not enough, you can choose a Samsung life insurance and wear Samsung clothes. From the cradle to the grave.
Through photographs, this short film attempts to reveal the fascinating paradox of this extreme form of capitalism, which brings wealth to an entire society but also creates a dangerous dependency towards a single entity. As well as the collateral damage behind the power and wealth. For 75 years, the Samsung Group has forbidden trade unions in all of its subsidiaries and has denied the relationship between leukemia and the semi-conductor working environment. Samsung Galaxy portrays women and men who fight against the giant for their rights to build a trade union and have work-related illnesses recognised.