Reader Request: Looking for people to share stories about relationships in Korea

Couple ShoesI’ve been asked to pass on the following:

Looking for people to share stories about relationships in Korea

*********Have you fallen in love in South Korea? Battled cultural differences and other pressures to be with someone you never would have met anywhere else? Found the freedom to do things, meet people, or be someone you wouldn’t have dared to at home? Kept things going long-term and long-distance? Decided that dating in Korea is just too daunting and put that side of your life on hold while you’re here? Worn a couple shirt?

If you have a great story you’d like to share about dating, relationships and sex in Korea, I’d love to hear from you.

I’m making a documentary about how living in Korea can affect relationships, and I’d like to interview people with experiences that been delightful and difficult, wonderful and weird, sour and sweet.

It would be great to speak to partnered and single, cis- and trans-gender people, from a variety of backgrounds, and with a range of preferences and interests, including:

  • Korean people with experiences with other Korean people and people from other countries;
  • Non-Korean people with experiences with people from Korea and other countries;
  • People in monogamous and non-monogamous relationships with one or more partners;
  • People happy or unhappy not to be in a relationship;
  • People who have made their homes in Korea;
  • People who are in Korea on a temporary basis.

The film will be inclusive, non-judgemental and sex-positive, allowing the stories to act as an honest look at the unique experience of looking for, holding onto and losing companionship in Korea. To this end, and because I intend it for gallery screenings, the film probably won’t be a traditional talking-heads documentary. Instead, I’ll try to respond creatively to the themes of the stories people tell me, especially when the storytellers wish to remain anonymous. If you’re happy to appear on camera, that’s great, but if you’d like to share your story and would rather not have your face, voice or name be part of the film, I’ll find ways to accommodate those wishes.

I hope to collect stories in December and January, and am happy to travel anywhere in Korea to conduct interviews.

If you’d like to know more, or if you’re interested in taking part, please get in touch at relationshipsinkorea@gmail.com

Ben

4 thoughts on “Reader Request: Looking for people to share stories about relationships in Korea

  1. I think it might be really helpful here if the documentarian could link to or post some of their previous work – it would give people a better idea of their artistic process and come to a more informed conclusion about their potential participation . . .

    • Thanks for your comment – great point, and although I don’t really have anything particularly relevant to this project to link to, here’s a bit more about me and the process:

      I’m from the UK, and currently teaching at a small university in Jinju, but also interested in video, photography and writing. I used to work for a museum in the UK, and did interview-based video work for that job. More recently I’ve been focused more on photography and writing (plays and articles), but this idea seemed to really suit itself to video. I’ll be leaving Korea in a few months, and I see the project as a good way to round out my time in the country, and as a way for people to share their stories and describe a big part of the unique experience of life here.

      I’ve had a few cross-cultural relationships in Korea, and thought that the particular challenges and rewards of dating/relationships here would be a great subject for an oral history/storytelling video project. At the moment I’m thinking that that the film will be designed for gallery exhibition, but the form will really depend on the kind of stories that people want to tell.

      I would imagine that the interviews would take between one and three hours to carry out, depending on how in-depth people would like to go. Usually I would prefer to chat a little before filming starts, to make sure interviewees feel comfortable, and to get an idea of questions to ask, but a feeling of spontaneity is also important. The location of the interviews is entirely at the participants’ discretion, but it would be great to use a place that has some relevance to the story, if possible.

      I’ll put together a set of general questions for people to think about before the day of filming, but will take the lead from whoever is telling the story. Couples could be interviewed together or separately, depending on personal preference. If people prefer to remain anonymous, I can use audio only, transcribed text, or find actors to recite the stories. If there are any parts of the interviews that people feel uncomfortable with me using for the film, then of course I’d respect those wishes, too.

      So far I’ve had some very positive responses, and I’m looking forward to hearing the stories.

      Hope that helps

      Ben

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