Gwangju Blog

What to Do This Weekend: Star Wars Quiz, A Holiday Dinner, and the Indie Music Fest!

Hello Gwangju!

It may not be exactly winter yet, but it sure does feel like it! Let’s see what’s happening this weekend.

Thursday, December 7th

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Zumba is back after taking a break last week. Zumba is a fun cardio class that is open to any level. It takes place at 7 p.m., and is led by certified Zumba instructor Thando Mlambo. Make sure you wear comfy clothes, bring a towel, and a bottle of water because you’re going to need it. Thursday night Zumba class at the GIC is always a terrific way to start your weekend. For more details, please go to the Facebook event page here.  After your body gets a workout, how about giving your brain a turn with trivia night at Speakeasy. In just a week The Last Jedi will open, so tonight’s theme is about one of the greatest film series of all time, Star Wars! It only costs 5,000 won to play, and you can form a team of up to 5 players, or find one to join. The second place team will get its money back, and the first place team will win the rest. The winning team will also receive a 25,000 won bar tab! For more details please go to Speakeasy’s Facebook page.

Friday, December 8th

Courtesy of Loft 28

Courtesy of Loft 28

The only weekly open mic night in town takes place tonight at Loft 28! If you are interested in performing, all you have to do is show up and bring an instrument, Loft will take care of the rest. Performers will also receive a free drink as well. Even if you don’t play an instrument, come on down and enjoy some great local talent. Need another incentive? How about the great menu at Loft! Open mic night begins at 11 p.m., and if you need more info, then please go to Loft’s Facebook page.  If you’re looking for a great place to go downtown on a Friday night, then Tequilaz is a great choice with their drink specials. Bottomless drafts are available for 12,000 won (cash only), and bottomless rail cocktails for 20,000 won (again, cash only). The specials begin at 9 p.m., and go until midnight. Don’t forget about their delicious Mexican favorites as well. For more information, please check out the Tequilaz Facebook page.

Saturday, December 9th

Courtesy of Gwangju Art Class

Courtesy of Gwangju Art Class

This will be the last weekend for the Gwangju Art Class and GIC Talk series before they go on winter break. Today’s class begins at 12:30 p.m. and it will focus on Human Anatomy. The cost of the class is only 10,000 won, and materials will be provided for you (you can bring your own if you want). Today’s class will be led by local artist Raquib Apu. If you need more information, please check out their Facebook page. At 4 p.m. the GIC Talk series will begin with their last one of the year. Today’s lecture will be given by a married couple who are working on a local farming project. The talk will go for about an hour, and it is free to attend. If you need more info, please go to their Facebook page.

Courtesy of Gwangju-Jeonnam KOTESOL

Courtesy of Gwangju-Jeonnam KOTESOL

The Gwangju-Jeonnam chapter of KOTESOL will be holding their last meeting of the year on Saturday. They will have two great presentations that will help your professional development, and there will also many chances to meet and talk with other teachers. Since this is their last meeting of the year, they will also be having their year end holiday dinner after the meeting.  The dinner will include turkey, stuffing, and other dishes all provided by The First Alleyway. The meeting, which starts at 1:45 p.m., is free to attend, but their will be an additional cost for the dinner. To find out more about the meeting and the dinner, please follow this link. You can also get more details by visitng the chapter’s Facebook page.

Courtesy of Gwangju Indie Music Festival

Courtesy of Gwangju Indie Music Festival

For many years their used to be an indie music festival here in Gwangju. But, since 2013 it’s been on hiatus. Well music fans, it’s back this weekend! The 2017 Gwangju Indie Music Festival will start today, and go through until tomorrow the 10th. There will be over a dozen bands performing, including Gwangju’s very own punk band, Crying Nut. The music will begin at 3 p.m. on both days, and go until the evening. It all takes place at the Peak Music Hall, which is located in the same building as the GFN radio station. For more details about the bands, and exact directions, please go to Peak’s own site (info is only in Korean). You can also check out the Facebook event page too.

Sunday, December 10th

On Sundays a dedicated group of volunteers go out to a local animal shelter to walk and play with dogs. If you would like to join them, please go to their Facebook page to find out how.

Caged.

Caged

 

It’s about that time of year. I’m sure that most of us could feel it coming. The quickening winds, the long, dark mornings; those days will soon be upon us. It is three weeks and counting until the winter solstice. There must be a way out.

Such thoughts usually fill my mind when this time of year approaches. Curiously, it is not the weather itself which quickens my desire to jettison myself from this darkening land. Rather, it is the thought of such times which fills me more with dread. I was in the midst of such thoughts recently when passing a large, randomly placed claw machine near Jisun-dong. I have always been fascinated by these machines. The seeming simplicity of the game must be maneuverable into a higher than average chance of scoring my prized Sponge Bob or Ninja Turtle crap to be. Now that these machines have become all the (temporary) rage, such thoughts creep into my waking mind more often than not when walking through nightlife areas around town. However, I rarely waste my coins on them, preferring instead the scream then punch-a-pillow-as-hard-as-you-can games of old.

In any case, on this particular weekday evening, the sun had already set. Most people on the street seemed confident in their reasons for going to where they wanted, or perhaps needed to be. As they rushed by me, I decided to linger in front of the machine pictured above. Before composing and taking this shot, I stood for half a minute. My emotions were a complex mix of envy and pity for the faces inside. To some degree, they were probably warmer than I, and spent their days chilling with friends lest occasional moments of molestation by a giant metal claw. However, only after developing and seeing the photo above did I feel that gnawing sense of pity. It was one which could only come from an acknowledged empathy for their situation. For, despite their soft, well lit cage, it was still a cage nonetheless. They were as trapped as I on that night. As I type with legs propped up with a steaming thermos full of tea to my right, this seems strangely comforting.

 

[Image taken with my Contax T2 shooting Kodak Portra 400.]

 

(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)

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What to Do This Weekend: Sci Fi TV, Live Music, and ChristmasCon 2017!

Hello Gwangju!

We may be a little late (due to some technical issues), but we still have some great events coming up this weekend. Let’s see what’s happening!

Friday, December 1st

Courtesy of the Gwangju Movie Club

Courtesy of the Gwangju Movie Club

Start your weekend with some great sci fi television shows, as well as some tasty food with the folks at the Gwangju Movie Club. You can enjoy episodes of the cult favorite Firefly, and the newest hit to arrive on Netflix, Black Mirror. There will also be kebabs and drinks for purchase. It all begins at 6 p.m., and goes until 11 p.m. For a complete list of what shows will be featured, and directions to the venue, please go to their Facebook page.

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

Fridays at Tequilaz means it’s time for their great happy hour specials. Bottomless drafts are 12,000 won, and bottomless rail cocktails are 20,000 won (both cash only). There’s also a 2 for 1 margarita special (also cash only). While you’re enjoying the drink specials don’t forget their great menu of Mexican favorites. For all the details, please go to their Facebook event page.

Saturday, December 2nd

Courtesy of The First Alleyway

Courtesy of The First Alleyway

December is the time for holiday events, and today The First Alleyway will be having ChristmasCon 2017! There will be a geeky Santa cosplay contest, and a white elephant gift exchange. You’ll also have a chance to play Dungeons and Dragons, and raise money for a good cause. The Patron’s Guild will be having a pay to play D&D game, with the profits going to the adopt-a-child for Christmas project. Since it’s being held at the Alleyway, you can also expect some terrific food and drink specials. It’s time to geek out Christmas style and raise some money for charity! ChristmasCon 2017 begins at 12 p.m., and goes until 6 p.m. For more info, please go to their Facebook event page.

Courtesy of Tae Sang Park

Courtesy of Tae Sang Park

During the Chuseok holiday a group of local musicians went to Mongolia to perform a series of concerts. Now an exhibition of their trip will be shown at the Dreamer’s Space at the Daein Night Market. There will be pictures and video from the trip to Mongolia. The exhibit will begin at 5 p.m., and lasts until 10 p.m. For directions to the Dreamer’s space at Daein, please go to their Facebook event page.

The GPP’s 4th annual Cabaret night will be held on December 16th, but you need to make your reservations now for this one night only perfromance. There will be a dinner package option for 30,000 won, and a dessert package option for 20,000 won. Reservations for the dinner must be made by next Friday, December the 8th. Reservations for the dessert option can be made until Friday, December 15th. Tickets won’t last long, so don’t wait to make your reservations! Email: gpptickets@gmail.com to choose the dinner or dessert package. You can also get more details by checking out their Facebook page. I’ll be talking more about the Cabaret as we get closer to the date.

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

If you’re looking for a great place to hear live music, then Speakeasy is the place to go. Tonight the Manwons return to rock the joint. Opening up for them is Gwangju’s own Malarky. The music starts at 10:30 p.m., and if you’re wondering if there will be drink specials, the answer is “of course!”. There will be no cover for the show, so get down to Speakeasy to hear two great bands. For more info, please go to their Facebook page.

Essentials with JD # 312 **FREE LANGUAGE SEMINAR **

Open Studio Web

GFN Gwangju English Broadcasting

For local youth, parents, and college students interested in learning English

We prepared a special free lecture by Cho Seung-yeon, a genius of language .

In December, when the year is over , share the special learning method with Cho Seung Yeon writer .

In the meantime,

Cho Seung-yeon Let me know how you can have confidence in English.

 

▶ Date and Time: Saturday, December 2, 2017 3:00 pm

 

▶ Venue: Chonnam University Humanities College Small Hall

Host: Gwangju Metropolitan City

Organized by: Gwangju English Broadcasting, Chonnam National University Language Education Center

※ If you want to join a group, please apply for a seat in advance.

(200 seats on first come first served basis) Seats for groups of 10 or more seats → kiramono@gfn.or.kr

【GFN souvenir gift first come first served】

☎ inquiry 062-460-0971

Parking is not available in front of the Minhang University.

The neighborhood of the small hall is very crowded, so park near and walk

Please use public transportation. Thank you.

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Showiness.

Showiness.

 

To those who visited downtown Gwangju often enough, the photo above can be easily placed. However, to others, this might prove a more difficult task.

With their backs turned, the subjects themselves could be placed at any of a thousand semi-urban locations. The mountains beyond also show their ubiquitous presence in many similar photos taken around the peninsula. The long wall which runs behind these men is also fails to adequately place the scene. However, when looking to the cityscape beyond, we finally see hints which can situate this photo within Gwangju City. Of these, the pointed rooftops of the Josun University campus stand out most prominently. At a steep angle, this series of connected pyramidal shapes is unique to this campus, this city, and to my knowledge, any other major urban center nearby. The stark white paint covering these shapes equally sets the large building apart from the organic swirls on the mountain behind it.

The men pictured seem unbothered by any dispute of place. They know where they are. And, we, the viewers can rightly guess at their actions. The two men standing atop the bench are likely checking out a game or app on the left-man’s phone. Perhaps a friend, the right-most man is likely people-watching, drinking an instant coffee or entranced by his own personal glowing screen. The reality of their actions is in the viewers mind alone. And, it may not matter that the standing couple were fiddling with a remote control for a drone flying overhead while the rightmost man watched. What is left out of this picture speaks more to our own familiarity with such places in Gwangju and in Korea on the whole. For us photographers, it is up to us to imagine what each photo can become through what we choose it not to show. When lucky, the eyes we carry during our normal waking lives open wider as a result.

[Image taken with my Ricohmattic 225 shooting Kodak Portra 400.]

(Photo and Text by Marty Miller)

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