Tag Archives: Yellow Ribbon

Sewol Ferry – Pecha Kucha

Sewol Ferry, the topic of my Pecha Kucha, was not at all a random choice. Sewol Ferry was not just a single accident in South Korea, but was an alarm that taught citizens and government how incompetent government systems of South Korea is.  Failure of Coast Guard’s rescue was just a tip of an iceberg. Sewol Ferry uncovered corruptions within the government system, and uselessness of rules and  laws that eventually put more than 300 lives of teenagers into death. Dishonesty of media and government was also shocking. Wrong information sent out by government and media deceived the family of the deceased and put citizens in extreme anger. Sewol Ferry was somewhat like revolution, revealing the dirty parts of society and making citizens realize how obsolete government system has become.


This ribbon may be the most frequently used picture in South Korea Internet. As repeatedly it was used, the meaning it contains is also massive. Its original use was to commemorate the people died. However, its overuse and misuse distorted its meaning and made it into a symbol of anti-government power. I used this ribbon in my presentation, because this symbol directly demonstrates the danger that is hidden behind the use of social networking services. Yellow ribbon is not a symbol that is used first in South Korea. It was a symbol used in all around the world to commemorate people who died unfortunately, such as people died in war. Yet, indiscreet use of this symbol on Facebook and Instagram made citizens to become sick of this symbol. How can a symbol that commemorates the dead become a symbol of anti-government?

The image of ‘Keep Calm and Disobey’ (which I cannot paste here because of technical problem) also have become children’s motto in Korea. Whole disaster of Sewol Ferry not only made citizens to distrust their government, but also made youth to distrust adults. The president and officials of government deceived the citizens. Students who genuinely followed the captain of Sewol Ferry became the first to die.  Children and students started to suspect the necessity and competence of adults. After all, if every student disobeyed to the captain, they had a higher chance to live.  I thought ‘disobey’ might be the perfect word to express feelings of citizens. They do not know what to trust, but moreover, they even lost a reason to trust anyone.