Day 2 of the hunger strike:  Fifteen bereaved family members, who lost their children in the Sewol ferry sinking, began fasting and camping out on July 14 in Gwanghwamun and at the National Assembly. Mr. Kim Young-oh was the last man standing to continue fasting for 46 days, emerging as a new icon in the fight against increasing repression in South Korea.
Day 2 of the hunger strike: Fifteen bereaved family members, who lost their children in the Sewol ferry sinking, began fasting and camping out on July 14 in Gwanghwamun and at the National Assembly. Mr. Kim Young-oh was the last man standing to continue fasting for 46 days, emerging as a new icon in the fight against increasing repression in South Korea.
On the 100th-day anniversary of the ferry disaster and Day 10 of the hunger strike, Kim and other protesters stage a sit-in during a downpour, after police block passage and deny pedestrian access from the City Hall to Gwanghwamun Plaza. Some 20,000 people gathered at the City Hall Plaza to mourn and commemorate the Sewol victims.
On the 100th-day anniversary of the ferry disaster and Day 10 of the hunger strike, Kim and other protesters stage a sit-in during a downpour, after police block passage and deny pedestrian access from the City Hall to Gwanghwamun Plaza. Some 20,000 people gathered at the City Hall Plaza to mourn and commemorate the Sewol victims.
As body fat melts away and muscles atrophy, Kim's ribs start poking his internal organs, causing him immense pain.
As body fat melts away and muscles atrophy, Kim's ribs start poking his internal organs, causing him immense pain.
After 22 days, Kim was the only one among the families to continue fasting. His hunger strike struck a chord with many parents - especially mothers. He was eventually dubbed as "Yu-min's Dad" in popular press after his late daughter's name.
After 22 days, Kim was the only one among the families to continue fasting. His hunger strike struck a chord with many parents - especially mothers. He was eventually dubbed as "Yu-min's Dad" in popular press after his late daughter's name.
A composite of three photographs taken on Day 4, 22 and 31 of the hunger strike.
A composite of three photographs taken on Day 4, 22 and 31 of the hunger strike.
Rain pours down, and volunteers set up a vinyl canopy at the protest site. Hundreds of people joined a sympathy hunger strike of their own to support Kim and other Sewol families.
Rain pours down, and volunteers set up a vinyl canopy at the protest site. Hundreds of people joined a sympathy hunger strike of their own to support Kim and other Sewol families.
Day 33: Kim makes a public speech at a rally for the Sewol special law at the Seoul City Hall. A working-class man and an ordinary father, Kim has become an icon and face of the Sewol movement. Next day, Pope Francis got off his Popemobile, held Kim's hands and consoled the bereaved families before the beatification mass in Gwanghwamun.
Day 33: Kim makes a public speech at a rally for the Sewol special law at the Seoul City Hall. A working-class man and an ordinary father, Kim has become an icon and face of the Sewol movement. Next day, Pope Francis got off his Popemobile, held Kim's hands and consoled the bereaved families before the beatification mass in Gwanghwamun.
Day 37: Kim stands in front of the Blue House and stages a one-man protest for two hours in sweltering heat before being turned away by plain-clothed security.
Day 37: Kim stands in front of the Blue House and stages a one-man protest for two hours in sweltering heat before being turned away by plain-clothed security.
Day 39: Kim shows his gaunt leg during a medical check-up. False accusations that he is in fact taking food behind the curtain spread online around the beatification mass. I took this picture as a proof.
Day 39: Kim shows his gaunt leg during a medical check-up. False accusations that he is in fact taking food behind the curtain spread online around the beatification mass. I took this picture as a proof.
Day 40: Kim is taken to a hospital after collapsing.
Day 40: Kim is taken to a hospital after collapsing.
Kim breaks his fast after 46 days, following pleas from his surviving daughter, Yu-na. His meal consists of thin rice gruel, a small amount of soy sauce, and pickled radish in water.
Kim breaks his fast after 46 days, following pleas from his surviving daughter, Yu-na. His meal consists of thin rice gruel, a small amount of soy sauce, and pickled radish in water.
At the 200th day anniversary rally, Kim and Sewol supporters pay a silent tribute to the victims. After a long gridlock, the Sewol special law for the independent body of inspectors just passed one day before.
At the 200th day anniversary rally, Kim and Sewol supporters pay a silent tribute to the victims. After a long gridlock, the Sewol special law for the independent body of inspectors just passed one day before.
Clean-shaven, Kim reads messages of support and hate on his smartphone. During and after the fast, his Facebook page garnered more than 80,000 likes, but not all of them approved of him.
Clean-shaven, Kim reads messages of support and hate on his smartphone. During and after the fast, his Facebook page garnered more than 80,000 likes, but not all of them approved of him.
Yu-min's childhood picture: Though divorced, photographs of his two daughters are Kim's most prized possession. Kim took these photographs himself with a film camera.
Yu-min's childhood picture: Though divorced, photographs of his two daughters are Kim's most prized possession. Kim took these photographs himself with a film camera.
After shaving, Kim said he felt better and more relieved because not many people recognized him anymore. He has become isolated from the rest of the world.
After shaving, Kim said he felt better and more relieved because not many people recognized him anymore. He has become isolated from the rest of the world.
"Happy birthday, my princess." Kim blows out birthday candles on Yu-min's birthday. Had she been alive, Yu-min would have turned 18 on Jan 14.
"Happy birthday, my princess." Kim blows out birthday candles on Yu-min's birthday. Had she been alive, Yu-min would have turned 18 on Jan 14.
Kim and other bereaved parents of the 10th classroom of the second grade are back in Jindo to support and join other parents on the walk pilgrimage. There is only one survivor in Yu-min's class.
Kim and other bereaved parents of the 10th classroom of the second grade are back in Jindo to support and join other parents on the walk pilgrimage. There is only one survivor in Yu-min's class.
Back in Jindo for the first time since the hunger strike, Kim looks out at the sea at Paengmok port, where he and other parents had desperately waited for the return of their children. Out of 325 students on-board, only 75 escaped the capsizing ferry and no one else was rescued.
Back in Jindo for the first time since the hunger strike, Kim looks out at the sea at Paengmok port, where he and other parents had desperately waited for the return of their children. Out of 325 students on-board, only 75 escaped the capsizing ferry and no one else was rescued.
Yu-min's cremation urn.
Yu-min's cremation urn.
Kim's transformation into an icon was not what he wanted, but his life was completely turned upside-down after the hunger strike.
Kim's transformation into an icon was not what he wanted, but his life was completely turned upside-down after the hunger strike.
In April, 2014, Kim holds his late daughter Yu-min's portrait in protest of the government's attempt to neutralize the independent investigation into the its handling of the disaster. He has turned into a militant, and his transformation and struggle is illustrative of the collective experience of the entire Sewol victims' families.
In April, 2014, Kim holds his late daughter Yu-min's portrait in protest of the government's attempt to neutralize the independent investigation into the its handling of the disaster. He has turned into a militant, and his transformation and struggle is illustrative of the collective experience of the entire Sewol victims' families.