120 Minutes : Complaints turned into a Festival!
편집자 주/ 희망제작소는 2008년 10월 8일부터 11일까지 4일 동안 ‘사회창안주간’을 개최했다. 사회창안주간은 사회창안대회, 사회창안 국제회의, 불만합창단으로 구성되었다. 이 글은 10월 11일 열린 불만합창단에 대한 기사를 영문으로 번역한 것이다.
[한국어 기사보기 ▶ 불만을 축제로 만든 120분!]
Editor’s Explanatory Notes/ On October 11, 2008, Korea’s first ever “Complaints Choir Festival” was convened. The Complaints Choir Festival was planned as part of the 2008 “Social Invention Week.” The Social Invention Week, held from October 8 to 11, accomplished the following: (1) the heated contest of citizens’ hope-ideas in the “Social Invention Competition,” (2) “The International Conference on Social Invention,” which drew out domestic and foreign social invention activities’ status and prospects, and (3) the Complaints Choir Festival. Recorded below are the ardent performances and the audience responses to the eight complaints choirs drawn from diverse regions and subjects.
“♬~ Courier Man only comes for sure when I am not at home ~
Don’t give marriage invitation card to your ex~♪”
Do you know? Complaints Can Be Set Free as a Festival ? Refreshingly!
? Matching the high spirit of the popular “Milk Song,” young girls’ complaint song about getting only every other Saturday off from school (Dream One World Study Room Complaints Choir)
? Cramped handicapped bathrooms and accessibility restrictions vented with sarcasm and humor, the Disabled Women Response Group members (Enjoyable Complaints Choir)
? Raising the unity of persons’ whose ages are asked by those who act like statistics building workers, the Jinju Women Link Group members and children (Jinju Warblers Complaints Choir)
? Shouting out long live the candlelight, the World Persons (Netizens Complaints Choir)
? Ranging in age from ten to sixty, riding the south bound train and doing the twist, the Iksan Team (Iksan Complaints Choir)
? Ak! ? Revealing social welfare’s inferior condition, the Kwanak District Team (Kwanak One Cry Complaints Choir)
? From daily life’s small matters to political issues, truly pouring out complaints in order to look forward to distinguished service, the Do-as-We-Please Team (The Seoul Do-as-We-Please Complaints Choir)
? The students and regional residents who sang about the North Ahhyun neighborhood’s hilltop (North Ahhyun Neighborhood Grievance Choir)
They were the owners of the complaints that were set free as a festival.
From inside the Traditional Arts Public Performance Hall of the Jo-Gye Temple’s Buddhist History and Culture Commemoration Center, the “Complaints Choir Festival” convened.
With Comedian Park Jun Hyung serving as the master of ceremony, eight complaints choirs that had gathered from Seoul, Jinju, Iksan and other regions participated. From the beginning of the festivities, all the seats in the hall were filled with spectators. “Complaints Choir” is a chorus that sings as songs all kinds of complaints that come up today, from daily life’s small problems to global issues. First begun in 2005 in Birmingham, England, it has spread to cities around the world, among them Helsinki, Finland; Hamburg, Germany; and Chicago, U.S.A.
As Park Won Soon, the Executive Director of the Hope Institute, which sponsored the event, rose up to the stage to deliver words of welcome, he started singing on the spot.
“Deep water is deep, shallow water is shallow ~.”♬
The audience could not really figure out what song it was, but responded with cheers to this figure of an earnest singer.“Whatever the era, there exists many complaints and despair. The issue is ‘how to disentangle them.’ Among OECD nations, our nation has the highest rate of suicide. This is because there is no outlet for expelling complaints. Please give this new, fun, and peaceful attempt at singing complaints through the complaints choir by clapping loudly and giving encouragement.
♬ How old are you, where do you live? All citizens are employees of the statistics building ~! ♬
Ranging in age from ten to sixty, the energy of the diverse groups filled the Complaints Choir Festival up to the brim, shocking even Complaints Choir founder Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen.
The performance hall was lifted up slightly with complaints that one could respond to, and it became a place of sympathy and mutual understanding.
Park Jun Hyung, who had been entrusted with the master of ceremony duty, said that after listening to the “Dream One World Study Room” young girls’ choir, he has gotten to know of the complaints nowadays of young girls, and because of the performance by the “Enjoyable Complaints Chorus” of “Tuk, Tuk, Tuk, Tuk” [*Tuk = door sill], he got to know that it is due to “Tuk” that they are not able to move around properly. He also said that the festival was a good place because we each got to know things that we did not know before.
After all the teams’ performances concluded, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen took the stage. He relayed that he was impressed that eight teams drawn from all across Korea could give this public performance and was “grateful to the Hope Institute who has expanded the Complaints Choir to a new dimension.” At the inception of the Complaints Choir, he had not imagined that such a festival would be opened in Korea, but the reality of this festival was bigger than he had dreamed and was an inspiring image.
Transferred here are the photographs and complaint lyrics of the eight teams whose complaints were as varied as their team colors.
1. “Seven-Colored Rainbow” Award ? Iksan Complaints Choir (Organized by Iksan Hope Solidarity group)
Iksan Hope Solidarity is a regional citizens’ organization that seeks to achieve a life worthy of mankind and to make a happy Iksan. Upon hearing of the Complaints Choir Festival, they formed a twenty-five member choir consisting of mainly Iksan Hope Solidarity members and ranging from children to adults aged sixty. Using the opportunity of participating in the Complaints Choir Festival, they organized an on-going song lovers’ society and have plans to sing at the “Iksan Citizens Association Five Year Anniversary Gala” and the “October Citizens Lecture.” As with the current public performance, they aspire to spread forth a movement for a way of living inside which all households are joined together.
♬ “Cannot live in the area around the Iksan City public corporation because of the bad stench ? older daughter-in-law, why must you always live inside tension~”
♬ “I was dumped by the boyfriend, it was not a break-up, the forestry product bureau’s early “Eum Pa”(=sonic waves), here a “PA” there a ”PA.” The gas construction without countermeasures, don’t light up a cigarette at a close distance. Complete darkness, can’t it be lit up a little. Monday morning meeting, small talk for thirty minutes only. When it’s ten, the park is also completely dark. Only saying that it’s dangerous for women. Iksan City no matter what without a knock don’t open the door. Mistake by doctor is alright. Only the patients become the criminals. Please change the medical treatment laws. ~”
2. “Long Live the Candlelight” Award– Netizens Complaints Choir (Formed by Daum Caf?, the Internet Caf? Community Leader)
The Netizens Complaints Choir is composed of twenty persons who conducted their activities online. They said that while engaging in complaints chorus activities and singing, the complaints did not come out in irritation but as enjoyment. More than any of the other teams, their lyrics were critical of society, and the team conveyed their message in a stylish manner.
“For us, who made the leap from online to offline, please give courage by clapping a lot.”
♬ “Complaint, complaint, we are the netizens with many complaints. We have so many complaints that we leaped out from the internet. The subway air is too impure, college and high school education fees are always going up. As a student had a lot of time but no money but now that became working person have no time and no money. They say taxes went down but my taxes always seem to be going up. [omit] Make-up with fire extinguishers and Make-up cleansing with water cannons. Plead for hot water. President has no military gains a lie, minimum Korean persons would be good. Why do luxury store saleswomen think that they are luxury-persons, why ex-boyfriend phones at dawn and ask if I’m sleeping? (I am sleeping, you idiot) [skip] Now I don’t want to worry anymore about the state of affairs.~”
3. “ Our Beautiful Neighborhood” Award ? North Ahhyun Neighborhood Grievance Choir (Formed by the Chugae Arts College Woodblock Print Department Project Team)
Chugae Arts College Practical Music Department students composed the melodies and the North Ahhyun neighborhood residents wrote the lyrics. Through that opportunity, the North Ahhyun neighborhood choir shed light on their aspirations for the possibility of leading an artistic life while living and breathing together with the local neighborhood residents.
“It is a fact that we also are residents of North Ahhyun neighborhood. While preparing for this choir, it seems as though we got to know one another better.”
♬”Have to cross the roadway without even a narrow footpath. Cats and pigeons since when my friends cause traffic congestion in front of the busy railroad station. Wait for a long time but not coming village bus. Dark evening alleyway without streetlamps I feel I have become a main character in a horror movie. Trusted 24-hour snack stand, look out on for my benefit. (Here, the North Ahhyun neighborhood). Very high hills (if say it better) and a mountain without trees (property tax was raised) wages do not go up feel bad inside there is no place to take a walk with the dog.” [Rest omitted.]
4. “Have the Whole World” Award ? Dream One World Study Room Complaints Choir (organized by the Bongchun Neighborhood House of Sharing, Dream One World Study Room)
Having many dreams and many complaints were the Bongchun neighborhood’s Dream One World Study Room’s “Night Ocean’s Young Girls.” These fifth and sixth grade girls sang that they disliked school and they disliked studying. They even laughed innocently in the middle of the songs.
“The strongest complaints girls have launched!”
♬ “School don’t like don’t like, studying don’t like don’t like foreign language don’t like oh ? no. Teacher, do as you wish. Tests there are too many. Number one bus driver is very unkind. Just because pay 300 won, I am not ignorant. Our school favors too much first and second grade. Because the first and second grade wall covering is a TV. School vacation short, resting time short. Chinese locusts don’t like. Will go crazy. School bathroom don’t like. [skip] ~ Will go crazy.”
5. “Spread Far” Award ? Kwanak One Cry Complaints Choir (organized by Kwanak Social Welfare)
The Kwanak Social Welfare One Cry Disabled Persons Night School is an organization which seeks to provide educational opportunities for disabled adults who have been excluded from formal education. They revealed that the purpose of their participation in the Complaints Choir Festival was to gain pride and self-confidence, as well as to let the difficulties of operating the Disabled Persons Night School be known. In the middle of performing their song, they let out the “Ak”! [Wrong!] sound, and were hailed by the spectators.
♬ [preceding passage omitted] Elevator narrow space pushed in the wheelchair, like dangerous acrobatics with difficulty entered the night school classroom, cheap and cold rice rolls one roll, give out one more roll. Hungry, now don’t like, pray no more rice rolls. Inside the neighborhood, district building like a shiny, fancy hotel. Inside the neighborhood, public servants impolite and tough. Inside the bag of shrimp-flavored crackers find the head of the poopy-dog that doesn’t want to listen every day just digging forever for underground tunnel looking for piece of bone from mad cow .”
6. “Sing Joyfully” Award ? Jinju Warblers Complaints Choir (organized by the Jinju Women Link Association)
The Warblers Complaints Choir was comprised of eighteen women in their thirties and forties and two students from the Regional Children’s Center Study Room. They have plans for public performances in October at the Sexual Discrimination Campaign, in November at the Extremely Thrifty Lightning Market and in December at the Jinju Women’s Equality Awards Ceremony. In their journey to change the world through this enthusiastic choir, the addition of new sights shows in their eyes.
♬ “First time meet someone first question asked of me. What age are you where do you live ? everyone in the country all ~ are statistics building employees~. Internet’s strong power neighborhood PC room Game poison also the world’s strongest. My information is co-owned by everyone~. Not even come to half social welfare level of the world so why always reduce, National Assembly Members’ wages also reduce. Ordinary workers taxed like suckers, highly paid workers taxed a lie. Common people get out of the district. Calf birth no matter what 300,000 won. Our third at most 200,000 won. From the very beginning, with the second only a sigh comes out~ [rest omitted]”
7. “Grateful Response” Award ? Enjoyable Complaints Choir (organized by the Disabled Women’s Response Group)
The Disabled Women’s Response Group is an organization founded in order to bring awareness to the issue of women who are isolated due to their disability and to seek their right to be equal members of the society. The complaint that the disabled women speak of is that the world “has gotten tangled up.” But they made the plea that the response to the world that does not take disabled persons into consideration is to air one’s complaints. Through the complaint choir, the disabled women “witches” want to progress from a simplistic shout and, instead, create a big echo that changes the world. All the members of the organization showed an explosive presence in their drama and performance activities.
“♬ Pee or not Bear it or not. Find the handicapped bathroom, had to bear it and bear it. Bladder inflammation. At the hospital medical treatment refused. (Commotion commotion when handicap bathroom found, why being cleaned? Found and went to it but well, the wheelchair cannot go in. But why don’t you listen when someone is speaking. But, the Goonja Station elevator is too dissatisfactory.) Waged battle for equal rights. Subway delayed forty minutes. They say it was delayed because of us. Trash, disabled people are trash, they say. Lift installed so board first. Because of the “Tuk” [door sill] cannot go in. Tuk! Tuk Tuk Tuk Tuk Tuk (Aigoo! Breathless) Too much Tuk Tuk Tuk! [Rest omitted.]
8. “Hope Seed” Award ? Seoul Do-as-We-Please Complaints Choir (organized by the Hope Institute)
This choir was formed with members ranging from first year high school student to a sixty-year-old grandmother, drawn from diverse ages and spheres of activity. Since September, during five scheduled meetings, they wrote the complaints lyrics and composed the songs. It is a team whose every member is proud to have their personal views in the songs. Mr. C of the Band “Hot Potato” undertook the role of song teacher.
2008 Social Invention Week, One More Opportunity
Even though convened for the first time, perhaps because the pathway for expressing complaints had been restricted, the curtains on the “2008 Complaints Choir Festival” were lowered after success and being hailed greatly by citizens. This complaints choir festival disseminated to the entire society the “Complaints Choir By-Laws,” and if complaints are made festive and much mutual understanding can be achieved, this festival can become one cultural way to change the world.
With the end of the Complaints Choir Festival, “The 2008 Social Invention Week” concluded its four-day program consisting of the (1) Social Invention Competition, (2) International Conference on Social Invention, and (3) The Complaints Choir Festival. “Social Invention Week” was a place to explore ways in which citizen participation can be fused institutions, to express culturally, and be systematically built. We really do hope that this event has served as an opportunity to expand by one span people’s consciousness that “citizens can change the world.”
[2008 Social Invention Week ? Articles]
Allow More Imagination ? The Social Invention Conference Seen through a Citizen’s Eyes (October 10, 2008)
For Social Invention without Borders ? The First Day of the 2008 Social Invention International Conference (October 10, 2008)
Social Invention, Hope’s Promise — 2008 International Conference on Social Invention, Second Day and Curtain Closing (October 11, 2008)
Daily Living Ideas Pop Popping Out ? 2008 Report on the Invention Conference (October 9, 2008, MBC)
Ideas Pop, Popping Out One After Another at The Hope Institute
“Awakened from a Nap by the Doorbell, If Go Out to See, ‘Do You Believe In Jesus’” ? On The 11th, Korea’s First Convened “Complaints Choir Festival.”
[Postscript by Persons Enjoying Themselves]
Achieved Mutual Understanding through Complaints ? Account of the Complaints Choir Festival by a Member of the Do-as-We-Please Complaints Choir
Researcher in Charge: Song Jung-Ah/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Translator: Park Ji Won