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  • SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, TO HOST ‘OH-WOL PEACE FESTIVAL’ONLINE FOR THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MAY 18 DEMOCRATIC UPRISING

  • SMG 812
    • Seoul and Gwangju holding ‘Oh-Wol Peace Festival’ online without on-site audiences together for the first time.
    • Total of 11 programs with various art genres, including literature, music, and dance performances, will be held to soothe people from COVID-19.
    • Actors from Seoul and Gwangju participated on memorial performances, such as ‘Oh-Wol Dance Performance,’ broadcasting live through various online platforms.

    □ The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), together with the Gwangju Metropolitan Government (GMG), will be holding the Oh-wol Peace Festival for the 40th anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Uprising under the slogan of “Spring of Seoul, Light in Gwangju.” This commemorative festival will be an online event without an on-site audience in line with social distancing for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 to gain sympathy not only from Koreans but also global citizens.

    □ The festival will be the first memorial event to commemorate the May 18 Democratic Uprising jointly organized by Seoul and Gwangju. The slogan was excogitated and decided as “Spring of Seoul, Light in Gwangju” to connote the development of the democratic movement that started in Busan and Masan, spread throughout Seoul in 1980, and led to the May 18 Democratic Uprising in Gwangju.

    Spring of Seoul (1979.10.26. ~ 1980.5.17.)

    Refers to the political transition period between the “October 26 Incident” in 1979 and the “May 17 Extension of Martial Law” in 1980, during which democratic movements were being actively carried out, while also indicating the mediation between the Bu-Ma Democratic Protests and the May 18 Democratic Uprising.

    □ Modeling after the Daedong Spirit of the May 18 Democratic Uprising that empowered people to share the pain and comfort each other as they deeply suffer, Seoul has plans to soothe the hearts of people who are going through tough times.
    ○ “Daedong Spirit” is the spirit of humane relationship, solidarity to share the pain, and dedication and sacrifice for others amongst the people of Gwangju who shared rice balls together and spent all their efforts to save the injured through blood donation during the May 18 Democratic Uprising.

    □ Furthermore, the SMG announced that the city recognizes the May 18 Democratic Uprising as a general history of the Republic of Korea, not an event limited to some region and some people, and wants to impart the spirit beyond Korea’s borders.

    □ <Oh-Wol Dance Performance> is a performing program to relieve the painful memory of the May 18 among the 11 cultural programs of Oh-Wol Peace Festival. The program stands for commemorating the memory of the 816 victims from the May 18 Democratic Uprising, who are buried in the May 18th National Cemetery, by placing their names on the seats in the performance venue. <Oh-Wol Dance Performance> will air on Monday, May 18, 2020 through 5·18TV, Naver TV, TBS TV and the Official Channel of Seoul in Youtube, so any people in the world can enjoy the performance from home.
    □ Oh-Wol Dance Performance <Ten Days of Cockscomb Blood> : A performance that illustrates the memory of 10 days from May 18 to 27, 1980 in Korean creative dance.
    *Live broadcast at May 18th, Monday 8PM in Korean Time on 5·18TV, Naver TV, TBS TV, and the Official Channel of Seoul in Youtube.

    ○ The performance will comfort and commemorate the victims to sympathize and share their he sorrow and sadness with audience. It will also express the painful reality in the new way of performing and communicates with the new generation.

    ○ From May 18 to 27 1980, for ten days, someone died, someone killed, and someone survived. The story of those who live the day, which is unforgettable and left as an indelible stigma for everyone, will unfold on the stage.

    ○ Changmu Dance Company, where creates new Korean dance based on Korean traditional dance for 40 years, collaborates with Altimeets, a group of graduates majoring in Korean dance at Korea National University of Arts, to perform <Ten Days of Cockscomb Blood>.
    □ You can find more details for each program of the Oh-wol Peace Festival on the website of the following platforms. Even if you miss the live broadcast, you can still watch the contents through VODs posted on 5·18TV online afterward.
    ○ Website of Oh-Wol Peace Festival (5·18TV): www.518seoulspring.org
    ○ Naver TV: tv.naver.com/518seoulspring
    ○ TBS TV (YouTube): www.instagram.com/5.18tv
    ○ Website of 5·18 Film Festival ‘Cine Gwangju 1980’: cineg1980.kr

    □ Mayor Park Won-Soon mentioned that “Oh-Wol Peace Festival is a collaboration between Seoul and Gwangju to reflect the value of the May 18 Democratic Uprising expressed in various cultural, artistic, and academic fields such as literature, dance, music, films and more. It has a great significance in creating the place of empathy to commemorate with people. As we keep the distance in our everyday lives, we share the spirit of the May 18 Democratic Uprising online, and hope to comfort people suffering from COVID-19. Seoul will continue efforts to inherit the spirit of the May 18 Democratic Uprising as the city for democracy, human rights, and peace, and to make its meaning known to all the people and even the world.”

    □ Major programs include: ▴ Nationwide and Worldwide May 18 Democratic Uprising, a relay video message celebrating Oh-wol Peace; ▴Sharing International Trends on Democratization and Peace for the 40th Anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Uprising, an international conference; ▴ KBS Open Concert “Spring of Seoul, Light in Gwangju” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Uprising; ▴ Oh-wol Musical, Concert and Dance, performances to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Uprising; ▴ Oh-wol Recital, a public reading of May 18 literature; ▴ Cine Gwangju 1980, a film festival to commemorate the May 18 Democratic Uprising; ▴ Why Was I Shot?, a special documentary; ▴ Beyond and Beyond: Courage to Tell the Truth, a special exhibition to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Uprising; and ▴ the Seoul Memorial Ceremony of the 40th anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Uprising.
    Attachment : 1. Oh-Wol Peace Festival Poster (Korean and English).
    2. Photos of Seats for <Oh-Wol Dance Performance>.
    3. Photos of the Stage for <Oh-Wol Dance Performance>.

    Oh-Wol Peace Festival Poster (Korean and English)

    Photos of Seats for <Oh-Wol Dance Performance>

    ○ Seats with names of the 816 victims from the May 18 Democratic Uprising, who are buried in the May 18th National Cemetery

    Photos of the Stage for <Oh-Wol Dance Performance>

    ○ The stage decorated with names of the 816 victims from the May 18 Democratic Uprising, who are buried in the May 18th National Cemetery