The Sewol ferry capsized off the southern coast of South Korea on April 16, 2014. Among the 443 passengers, there were 15 teachers and 325 second-year students from Danwon High School, a public school in Ansan Seoul suburb of Ansan. Only one quarter of the students escaped before the boat sank. Classes were cancelled, and the school became a gathering point for a community trying to cope with profound tragedy. Uncertainty about the victims’ fate lasted for days during a complicated, and ultimately futile, rescue effort.
Students, friends, neighbors and family members posted thousands of notes in the hallways of Danwon High School during that time. They are intimate messages of hope and fear, love and despair, as well as reminders of the many promises and plans that will now go unfulfilled.
Shannon Jensen/Reportage by Getty Images