MUST SEE: “Reclaiming our Dark Chapters and Building a Community” Sebasi Talk by Winnie M. Li, Author of Dark Chapter

Estimated reading (and viewing) time: 3 (+17) minutes. Image source: YouTube.

Long time no see everyone, and sorry for the wait.

We’re all busy these days, so I won’t waste your time with explaining why. Suffice to say I no longer have long blocks of time free to really delve into a subject like I used to. Don’t worry: that doesn’t mean I won’t be writing marathon, heavily-researched posts anymore, or never finishing the—ahem—half-dozen series I have ongoing. Just that I can’t spend Herculean, lunch to dinner sessions on posts like I used to. Instead, I have to take advantage of a free half an hour here, an hour there, and…TBH, I’ve been struggling to make the transition. But I’ll get there.

In the meantime, there’s one more change I’m going to have to make, which has been a long time coming. The issue is I’m always reading, listening, and watching Korean feminism, sexuality, and pop-culture-related things, but I don’t share them because, time aside, I usually just don’t have much to add to them. That compulsion is such a 2007 blogging mindset though. (Yeah, that’s how long I’ve been doing this.) Also, that I’ve been spending an hour per day posting to Twitter and Facebook for many years has blinded me to the fact that many readers of mine aren’t actually on either (sorry). So, from now I’ll making lots of short posts, drawing your attention to the interesting and useful, with only minimal commentary from me if necessary. Meanwhile, I’ll still be working on the marathon posts in the background.

That said, most of those things I’m reading, listening, and watching these days are—yay me?—all in Korean, which, sans translating everything, are not necessarily the easiest things to pass on to non-Korean speakers. But again, I’ll see what I can do.

Which brings me to the video of the title, an April 2018 talk in Seoul for Sebasi (like a Korean TED) by sexual assault victim and now education and rights activist Winnie Li, author of Dark Chapter.

Frankly, I’d never heard of her before this Saturday, when I had to attend a TEFL conference at my university. But at that conference, attendees were told there was a mandatory viewing session of a video about preventing sexual harassment.

You can imagine most people’s reactions: in Korea, such videos are typically cringeworthy, patronizing, and terribly-translated cartoons. Instead, we got the presentation below…which by no means is about sexual harassment prevention.

What exactly it is about though, I’ll have to frustrate you by not saying, because I want you to be as shocked and amazed as I was. But I do promise that no matter how busy you are, it will easily the best use of 17 minutes you’ll make this week.

After you’ve watched, please let me know what you think in the comments. And make sure to check out Winnie Lee’s own blog too!

(Note that the talk is all in English, with Korean subtitles.)

If you reside in South Korea, you can donate via wire transfer: Turnbull James Edward (Kookmin Bank/국민은행, 563401-01-214324)

2 thoughts on “MUST SEE: “Reclaiming our Dark Chapters and Building a Community” Sebasi Talk by Winnie M. Li, Author of Dark Chapter

  1. I didn’t want to write a negative comment after your much awaited comeback, so please don’t feel discouraged in any way, but since you asked for reactions: I didn’t find the video very interesting at all. Totally horrifying, but, sadly, not especially interesting. I was waiting for something out of the ordinary, but that never happened. Perhaps these stories are just getting very (not too) common, which is horrifying in itself. Even if this was about a more unusual stranger case.

    What was it in this that you found especially interesting?

    Still, thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks for your comment Eric, and please always feel free to leave a negative one 😉 Frankly, any feedback at all is always much appreciated!

      With Li’s presentation, I have to admit it wasn’t so much what she talked about that really struck me. Like you say, her experience is horrifyingly common. Rather, it was how she talked about it. I just found her to be an extraordinarily articulate speaker, and her presentation so well-structured that there was nary even a wasted breath in the entire 17 minutes. Honestly, I was mesmerized.

      I was really surprised and disappointed then, to later learn that some of my coworkers (90% male) found it pointless, and seemed to almost resent it. Whereas I watched it from the front, a very woke coworker at the back was interested in watching people’s reactions too, and unfortunately saw lots of eyerolling and sighs of exasperation; later, he said, they would describe the video as irrelevant to our workplace and a complete waste of their time. The former I can understand, but a waste of time? Yeah–a whole TWENTY MINUTES of a FOUR HOUR mandatory conference being forced to watch something about what women have to think about constantly, while still being completely free during those 20 minutes to play on their phones and wander over to grab more complementary donuts. Those poor guys!

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