A very alternative Korean cultural event is coming up at the end of this month, probably not the sort of event that would be advertised on the KCC website. The subversive political talk-show, I’m a Petty-Minded Creep (Naneun Ggomsuda, 나는 꼼수다, or Na Ggom Su for short) is coming to the UK for a couple of gigs. Their performance is at King’s College London on Saturday afternoon, 26 May, 2:30 – 5:30, and they will give a similar show in Oxford on 27 May, 2:30 at the Catholic Chaplaincy. There’s also a talk between Na Ggom Su and Human Rights Watch in Oxford on 25 May at 3pm. The shows will all be conducted in Korean apart from the Human Rights Watch event.
Press release below:
World’s Most Popular Political Podcast comes to United Kingdom
With an estimated audience of over 11 million, the honour of ‘world’s most popular political podcast’ belongs to 4 middle-aged men from South Korea who are outspoken critics of President Lee Myung-bak.
The Korean podcast, entitled “Naneun Ggomsuda,” (나는 꼼수다) or “I Am a Petty-Minded Creep” has quickly amassed a cult following in the young democracy since its first broadcast just one year ago. Since the 90s South Korea has often been seen as a model for democracy in Asia. However fans of the podcast say that mainstream Korean news media has become too easily influenced under the Lee administration. They see the podcast as a welcome and comical alternative.
The podcast came to further international prominence in December last year when one of its 4 presenters, former MP Chung Bong-ju (51) was convicted of spreading false rumors linking Lee to allegations of stock fraud. Chung, who stands by the rumours, is serving a 1-year jail term while the show continues to grow in popularity in spite of his absence.
“The podcast has me in stitches every week” says Lee Byung-gon a PHD student living in London “It’s great that these guys have the guts to criticize South Korea’s government and expose corruption despite the threat of imprisonment like what happened to Chung.”
“Their live UK broadcasts will attract British Koreans and Korean students in the hundreds. It is especially significant because the UK is the home of a number of democratic firsts such as the petition and the concept of the modern political party.”
In May last year, Frank La Rue, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, said during election campaigns in South Korea, “it is very difficult to distinguish expression that is permitted from that which is prohibited.”
“Naneun Ggomsuda” will perform at London’s King’s College on 26 May and at the University of Oxford on 27 May.
- His Highness gets lampooned in Oxford and London, Andrew Jackson reports for LKL, 6 June 2012
- Political disaffection finds satire in South Korea, Lucy Williamson, BBC, 13 March 2012
- A Leading Critic of South Korea’s President Is Jailed, Choe Sang-hoon, New York Times, 26 December 2011.
- Book Tickets here (Korean website)
(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.