Interview with a culture designer – Park Gyeong-ho, a Local Youth of Jeju
Date of report: November 13, 2016 (Interviewed on October 24, 2016)
Culture reporter: Kim Na-yeong
Q. Please tell us briefly about yourself.
I am the General Manager of the Jeju Cravitor Human Library run by the Jeju Center for Creative Economy & Innovation. (For your information, ‘cravitor’ is the combination of two words added with a suffix: creative + gravity + or. It means a person with a creative gravity.) It is my job to meet a variety of ‘cravitors’ based in Jeju and spread their stories.
Q. Hearing your self-introduction reminds me two of your key titles: the operator of the Jeju Cravitor Human Library and the leading member of the Jeju Youth Cooperative. When did you decide to start these activities? I would also like to hear why you needed them.
I decided to join the activities through the HRA Academy (an on-campus club for the humanities and business studies). I used to just focus on my school studies. Then I got interested in other spheres. That is how I changed my dream. I originally wanted to be a city planner. Now I want to create various content, so I would like to become a content planner. I have been doing activities such as broadcasting and performance planning. It has been a year and a half since I took the responsibility of the Human Library. I thought it would be great if I could collaborate with other people’s content. That is why I meet those cravitors who actively engage in Jeju’s community and promote the Human Library project where I can spread their stories.
I joined the youth cooperative for the same reasons. When I was a college student, there was the perception that Jeju Island has few challenges and opportunities. I wanted the local students to break out of this thinking. I also wanted to let them know that Jeju has many different kinds of people.
Recently I have focused on creating activities for youth. As the young Jeju men and women will lead the future, I believe they need a greater variety of experiences. The local community of Jeju lacks such a foundation. What is worse, many local youths fear failure. Consequently, young people just try to get a stable job when starting their careers. The biggest mission for me is to create a foundation that helps young people explore different challenges.
Q. Have you felt rewarded for running the Jeju Cravitor Human Library?
Engaging in the project, I meet new people for collaboration. I also hire new employees. And this network of people is becoming more visible. Sometimes public employees arrange meetings in my library. But some people have prejudices about public employees. I felt greatly rewarded when I serve as a channel for communication between public employees and residents of Jeju.
Q Could you tell us how Jeju is changing and how it should change?
I have high hopes that it will become a lively neighborhood. I would like to see more small gatherings organized not just by the Jeju Youth Cooperative but also other organizations. If there are more people who do what they want to do and this becomes a life, not just work, and if this life is enjoyable, it may bring some more vitality to Jeju.
Q. To my knowledge, you write ‘Park Kyeong-ho’ Jeju People Book on the local newspaper ‘The Sound of Jeju.’ Could you tell us briefly about it?
Luckily, many people like my humble stories, and I can continue writing them. At first, I wanted to let the readers know about some noteworthy people. I can offer an in-depth understanding of their stories through the People Book.
Q. How would you like the local community of Jeju to change in the future?
I hope that it will offer fair opportunities to everyone. A great deal of anxiety and fear of failure that local youth have demonstrates that this society is unstable. I am now working on sharing experiences with young people and building a foundation for their successes. Based on this, I would like to create an opportunity for everyone to do whatever he or she wants to do.
Q. Before wrapping up, I would like to hear how you want to live in this world.
I just want to be remembered as someone who enjoyed his life. When it comes to the definition of “happiness”, I think the feeling of your heart beating is the most accurate. Hopefully, I will continue living like that until the last day of my life.