Interview with a culture designer—Youth Culture
Date of report: November 17, 2016 (Interviewed between September 15, 2016 and November 16, 2016)
Culture reporter: Park Kyeong-ho
Jeju youths open a new chapter for opportunities, holding ‘Making Party’ and ‘Baram Concert’ based on daily meetings on books, discussions, and films open a new chapter for an opportunity including
Jeju Island has seen a growing number of migrants over the past few years. The annual net influx of the population recently reached 1 million. In the past, however, Jeju people concerned about drastic brain drains which cast a shadow on their future. Despite the increasing population, many Jeju-born youths still leave the island. Why is this happening? Some of my friends from my middle and high schools say that Jeju has few chances for experiences and challenges. I was one of those who once thought of leaving the island for the same reason.
Recently, however, Jeju has seen some small changes. And at the center of these changes do the 20s and 30s play significant roles. Local youths, who used to find limited chances, are now carving their own way to try something new here.
I believe that one of the most representative outcomes is the Baram Concert. The event visits anywhere there are young people longing to make stage appearances and where youth-led music and culture are rare. It is such a brilliant idea. Anyone who wants to perform on stage can be on stage. Furthermore, the bimonthly concert is often held in different rural areas rather than in the downtown areas.
Another youth event is the Making Party, formerly known as the Living Venture. It is organized by the Jeju Youth Cooperative for Startups. Basically, it can be understood as a networking party for young and promising entrepreneurs in Jeju. But it is different from other similar events in that a topic is chosen by a project group of the day. Proceeding various discussions on the project, the party draws cooperation and consultation. It is a a tremendous support and catalyst for young and promising entrepreneurs to meet their potential colleagues in the face of uncertainty. In this sense, Jeju youths have been creating their own culture that help themselves to stand up together.
Beside these representative events, they create other new cultures by holding small-scale meetings, such as Dokya Chungchung (a book club), Donggeurang Ddaeng (a debate club similar to Non-Summit broadcast on TV), and Shicheong ‘Ahp’ Sil (a club where people share ideas after watching films or videos).
The changes are just at their beginning stage. However, based hands-on experiences and idea sharing on the similarities and the differences, local youths of Jeju are supporting each other in creating new things through cooperation. We are seeing more and more opportunities for the youths to solve the issues themselves. Now the young men and women who will carve the future of Jeju are emerging above the horizon.