Seoul Women's Plaza to host Int'l Women's Day celebration
By John Redmond
People around the world are preparing to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD), which falls this year.
In Seoul, celebrations for IWD comprise a cocktail reception followed by theater and musical performances, including highlights from the play “Face”’ by Haerry Kim, performed for the first time in Korea at the Seoul Women's Plaza Art Hall in Daebang-dong on March 8.
Beginning at 6 p.m., the event will include a display by traditional Korean women drummers and dancers, concluding with the cutting of the “centenary cake.” Park Hyun-kyung, president of the Seoul Foundation of Women and Family, will officially open the event.
The evening has been organized by an informal group of expat and Korea women who wanted to mark this special day consistent with the theme “Unite _ To End Violence Against Women and Girls.”
The theme for the celebration of International Women’s Day supports the campaign initiated by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, in an effort to implement international standards to end impunity and ensure accountability for violence against women, which are crucial to prevent, reduce and eliminate such violence.
Events are underway or will kick off on the sidelines of the IWD celebration. The Cho-in Theater will present Lavonne Mueller’s “Hotel Splendid,” a powerful story of love and survival based on the experiences of comfort women to the Japanese military during World War II. “Hotel Splendid” runs through March 6 at Namsan Arts Center. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to a comfort women’s organization.
VDay-Seoul Campaign’s Benefit auction will be held with presentation of Eve Ensler’s award winning play “The Vagina Monologues” on April 16 and 17. VDay-Seoul will be donating to Korean Unwed Mothers & Families Association (KUMFA) this year.
The IWD’s highlight, “Face,” was originally staged in 2009 and 2010 to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the soloNOVA Arts Festival in New York. “Face” tells the story of hundreds of Korean girls and young women who were forced into sexual slavery to become “comfort women” for the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War.
“About 900 demonstrations for 18 years. A woman’s fight to get official apologies from the Japanese government. Based on testimonies of Korean comfort women, Face is a theatrical experiment that gives voice to the suppressed history and makes shape for reclaimed memory,” said Haerry Kim.
Other sideline events include “Perfect Working Models,” written and directed by Zoya Sardashti, which will be held at Seoul Center for Culture & Tourism in Myeong-dong from March 4 to 6 at 8 p.m. with a 4 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
“The Ravagers,” a Seoul Players production based on “The Suppliants” by Aeschylus, will be held at Bar Carmen in Gyeongnidan (Hyatt Hill) in Itaewon on March 5 and 6.
In 1908, 15,000 women had marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights and in 1909, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on Feb, 28.
Admission to the Seoul Women's Plaza Art Hall is 30,000 won and includes a light buffet. Reservations are recommended via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information log on to www.internationalwomensdaykorea.com