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Title Creating a Positive Hallyu Performance Culture with ‘KCON 2017 AUSTRALIA’
No 115 Inquiry 1093 Date 2017.11.03

“Good Hallyu Public-Private Partnership Project,” sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (Minister: Do Jong-hwan), and co-held by the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (Chairman: Kwak Young-jin) and CJ E&M, was conducted in connection with <KCON 2017 AUSTRALIA> and ended successfully.


The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange have been promoting the “Good Hallyu Public-Private Partnership Project” since 2012 by collaborating with CJ E&M to encourage corporate social responsibility and promote international cultural exchange at the private level. This project provided the opportunity to enjoy cultural content to culturally underprivileged groups and expanded cultural exchange between countries. It has brought recognition of the excellence of Korean culture to other nations and greatly contributed to enhancing national brand power.


This year, the project was conducted in connection with <KCON 2017 AUSTRALIA> of CJ E&M. Among socially and economically underprivileged groups, Hallyu communities from Australian aborigines, immigrants, and disabled were invited, and so were potential Hallyu consumers from the Australian national team composed of disabled players with dwarfism. Koreans and Australians, the able-bodied and disabled, Hallyu fans, and people who were not yet Hallyu fans all met under the theme of Hallyu, sharing exchanges and conversations and enjoying a meaningful experience.


Photo of participants


Australia's underprivileged become new leaders of KCON
6IXX, the cover dance team consisting of aborigines, and Lumino, the cover dance team consisting of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants, prepared the dance stage—from planning to execution—through the pre-dance workshop. They performed K-Pop dances in front of tens of thousands of spectators on the stage of the Qudos Bank Arena Convention and Concert Hall where <KCON 2017 AUSTRALIA> was held for two days on September 22nd and 23rd.


6IXX and Lumino at the convention workshop space also conducted a dance education workshop in which the Australian national team, composed of disabled players with dwarfism, and the disabled in wheelchairs who were Hallyu fans participated.



6IXX convention performance



Venue of the dance workshop


Meanwhile, family members of the cover dance teams were invited to <KCON 2017 AUSTRALIA>. They had a meaningful time with the cover dance team members in which they experienced Korean culture and gained a better understanding of one another. The mother of Katie, a member of cover dance team 6IXX, said, 'I'm so thrilled to see my daughter on the stage, cheered on by many people.' She kept expressing her sense of gratefulness. 'I don’t know how to repay the people who’ve provided this opportunity.”

Many of the native people in Australia have been marginalized by Australian mainstream society since colonial times, and they have historically worked as livestock farm workers. Immigrants are also not free from racial discrimination. The Good Hallyu Project gave such people a chance to participate in some <KCON 2017 AUSTRALIA> programs, giving them a chance to find new dreams and pride through Hallyu.


Creation of performance culture where the able-bodied and the disabled can work together in the festival
There have been numerous Hallyu concerts in and out of Korea, but Hallyu fans who have disabilities have made complaints and expressed dislike of Hallyu concerts due to the difficulties and discrimination they face. These problems are mostly unseen by other people, such as shortage of seating available for disabled fans using wheelchairs and the inconveniences related to entrance and movement within the concert hall.


As a result, the Good Hallyu Project provided opportunities for the disabled to enjoy <KCON 2017 AUSTRALIA> by ▲ arranging seats for people in wheelchairs ▲ conducting programs that give priority to the disabled to enter and exit ▲ and providing seats for the disabled.



 

Participant who is exchanging greetings with the girl group “Girls’ Day”



Group photo of <KCON 2017 AUSTRALIA>


Kaye, a Hallyu fan, Kaye’s mother, and Samansa, who runs the information SNS related to the Hallyu concert in Australia, were invited, which attracted a lot of attention. Kaye, who is paralyzed from the waist down, said, 'It was not easy for me to participate in the K-Pop concert with my mother because it has been uncomfortable and difficult to move my body. I always felt like a guest who is not welcomed. I am very glad to be able to attend the K-Pop concert that I dreamed of, thanks to this project which considers Hallyu fans with disability.'


Rebecca, a player from a national soccer team consisting of disabled people with dwarfism, was invited to KCON with her colleagues. She said, 'When I was invited to KCON, the first question my colleagues asked was whether we were watching the show sitting or standing.' She continued, “It is not easy for us to participate in an event with a big crowd because people may not see us when they stand in line because we’re short. It was great to come to a concert for the first time with my friends who also have dwarfism.”


Kwak Young-jin, chairman of the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange, said, “I hope through this project under the common theme of Hallyu Australians and Koreans, the able-bodied and the disabled, and Hallyu fans and people who are not Hallyu fans can come to mutual understanding. I also hope this becomes a milestone for advancing Hallyu concert culture, leading to greater and more widespread respect for the socially underprivileged.”