Writers Association of Korea suspends publication of government-funded periodical The move is in response to ARKO’s demand for a confirmation letter to receive government subsidies
The Writers Association of Korea (WAK), a progressive association of writers, held the ceremony in place of publishing its periodical “Artists Open Tomorrow.” WAK has suspended publication of the periodical in protest of the fact that ARKO is demanding a letter of confirmation that applications for government subsidies will not participate in or lead demonstrations. The writers engaged in readings of their poetry and novels that would have been published in the periodical. WAK made the decision not to publish Artist Opens Tomorrow on Feb. 24.
Choi Du-seok, executive editor of Artists Open Tomorrow said, “We have decided not to accept subsidies for the periodical’s publication in protest of ARKO’s policy of demanding a confirmation letter in which writers must confirm that they will not participate in or organize demonstrations.” Choi added, “We think this is a policy in which the government is gagging writers’ conscience.”
Just to highlight, “ARKO is demanding a letter of confirmation that applications for government subsidies will not participate in or lead demonstrations.”
This is a shame and should be protested. To put this in perspective, academics and unionists are the primary leaders (traditionally) of protests in Korea. This organization is really the sole funding source for many academic publications. Academics have to publish to be promoted (keep their jobs) and Korean publications are really the only publications that many of them can publish in. Therefore, this policy is a heavy-handed swipe at political activists and their livelihoods.
It’s disgusting. What else can I say?