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Opening gesture shows promise‘Gestures of Peace’ showcased artists and activists in Jeju’s cultural scene
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승인 2015.12.31  11:15:29
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Smiles all round at the Gestures of Peace event at J-Space. Photo by Jo Eun-jang

On a cool Dec 26 afternoon, gleeful smiles filled the ebullient atmosphere of the “Gestures of Peace” event, part of 2015 Peace and Culture Festival and held at J-Space, Jeju Creative Economy and Innovation Center.

Photo by Jo Eun-jang

The event was organized by the World Peace Island Organizing Committee and its partners with the intent of ringing in the new year with a celebration of harmony among peoples in Jeju.

The event had all the ingredients of a party with purpose including music and dance performances and presentations by activists in the community.

While the performers and presenters represented varied backgrounds from both the local and global community, they all shared a special devotion to our precious island.

Upon entering, attendees were encouraged to dip their hands in colorful paint and contribute to the symbolic wall of psychedelic handprints and messages of appreciation and thanks.

Photo by Jo Eun-jang

As the main event began, the percussion band put the audience in a trance with their beats and righteous drumming form.

This was followed by a string of presentations: Eric Sweet compelled us to rethink our relationships with trash, design and sustainability; Lee Ji-yeong shared her life and the values of Jeju nature in her work as a woodland guide; Ahn Gwang-hui outlined his work supporting rural Jeju communities through cultural events; finally, Kim Mi-suk shared her experience of the transformative power of modern dance as a dance trainer.

Photo by Jo Eun-jang

After the presentations, the Jeju Boys and Girls Choir lined up in spiffing red and white dresses and vests and sang holiday songs in Jeju dialect. Next up was Japanese artist Aska Yamada who charmed the crowd with her experimental dance, accompanied on the violin by Englishman Simon Powell.

The cherry on top of the whole event was the closing ceremony led by Kim Mi-suk and her Jeju Dance Academy ensemble. The ladies in white brought the whole audience to their feet, culminating in a train of handholding with lights and candles.

Photo by Jo Eun-jang

As the event cooled off from the excitement, everyone stuffed their faces with delicious treats and walked out the door with a gift for the road in true Jeju fashion: a mason jar of Hallabong jam.

The event showed promise in bringing residents together from different cultural backgrounds to enrich the island’s cultural community. With giggling children running around and adults joining in the fun, the festival was a great way to end the year and manifest our love for Jeju, the island we treasure.

Photo by Jo Eun-jang
Photo by Jo Eun-jang

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