Monica Macias: Black Girl From Pyongyang

Review by K Lang

The life of being the daughter of “One of the Most Brutal Dictators in History” can be hard but being raised by the Supreme Leader of North Korea, sure is hard in another way. Monica Macias came here from London to talk about her upbringing in North Korea, and how she was sent to study from Equatorial Guinea, during attempted Coup d'états and the overthrow of her father. Monica has a lot to say about this, and gives us another outlook about life there, however with some questions pointed out, and the difference between an average Korean; and her.

First, I’m sure most people would be intrigued by the life of Monica, and talking about it cannot be easy. She had Good Explanations which could change the point of view of some of the audience. Some deep themes have been talked about, especially her relationship with her mother, loneliness and racism, there is something to relate to her for everyone. She had some good ideologies, for example, her beliefs on Human Rights, and some good storytelling which had to have given the audience some new perspective. The talk was indeed interesting, and I wish we had more time to go in-depth about her life, I also think they covered nearly everything, or at least every part of it, from North Korea to New York.

However, I think she could’ve done a bit more and told us more stories about her life in Korea. This would have made it clearer what her experience in Korea was like. She also doesn’t talk about the issues in North Korea that are still ongoing today. She talked about Human Rights in the talk and how important it is to have them, even though Kim Il Sung who raised her has been known to have “abysmal human rights” as Amnesty International says. I think if she wants to shed light on human rights, she does have to accept that the people that she was around when she was young, were not innocent. That said, she will always have a different opinion since everyone will have a different opinion of their parents, or those who raised them, and I cannot blame her for that.

In Conclusion, Monica Macias has had a very intriguing life that has shown that we might need to look at things more transparently and that we must begin to treat people with respect, no matter where they’re from. She had a good outlook, especially on how most people see North Korea here in the UK, and she has sure changed some opinions. I think if you want to know more about this in her eyes, this book is for you. I think more events like this should be in the book festival like amazing survival stories and other extraordinary tales.