Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Kim Chi Ha (South Korea)

Note: The following article was written during the lifetime of the award winner. Kim Chi-ha died on May 8, 2022 in Wonju.

The poet Kim Chi Ha was born in 1941 in Mokpo, South Korea.

As a voice of the people, Kim Chi Ha takes on not only an important position in Korean literature, but also in early Korean history. The name „Kim Chi Ha“ is a homonym in Korean for „underground“ referring to the struggle of the Korean people. Despite worldwide protestation, Kim Chi Ha was re-imprisoned in 1975. Through his writing and poems he fought from prison against the dictatorship. The internationally celebrated poet was harshly censured in Korea. In 1980 when he was imprisoned anew he became a symbol of resistance against the military regime.

Kim Chi Ha received the Bruno Kreisky Prize in 1981 because he was one of the leading activists of the democratic and human rights movement in South Korea.