What are the standards of transparency and integrity for political elites in your country? Investigations into South Korea’s then President Park Geun-hye, her aide Choi Soon-sil, and several senior staff members began in October 2016, after it was alleged they used their influence to extort money from several prominent businesses, including Samsung. It was reported that Samsung paid $18 million to a consulting firm controlled by Choi Soon-sil, spent another $8 million supporting the Korean equestrian team where Choi’s daughter Chung Yoo-ra is a rider, and purchased an $830,000 horse for Chung. The political scandal was widely publicized and culminated in Park’s impeachment in December of that year. In March of 2017 South Korea’s Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment in an 8-0 decision marking the first time a sitting democratically-elected president has been removed from office in South Korea. This photograph captures the indignation of South Koreans over that scandal with a sign that translates to, “Let’s go to jail big sister.” The scandal sparked several weeks of protests in South Korea.
Alfonso De Gregorio is an Italian documentary photographer based in the United Arab Emirates. He believes that photography can spotlight social, cultural, and environmental realities and, in doing so, provide a powerful and political commentary about the world we live in.