The Lawn First and KQCF Later? – We Can No Longer be Controlled by Seoul City’s Incompetent Administration
Hello, we are the KQCF Organizing Committee.
On Thursday, April 6, 2017, we shared the progress of our application for the use of Seoul Plaza submitted to Seoul City. (You may refer to ‘Notice’ through the KQCF official website: http://www.kqcf.org/xe/171890?l=ko) Today, we want to notify you of the current status, and our stance.
On February 28, 2017, 90 days before the festival, KQCF Organizing Committee submitted a use declaration form to Seoul City to hold the 18th KQCF in Seoul Plaza.
On April 5, 2017, the KQCF Organizing Committee received a notification from Seoul City. According to the notification, an anonymous organization is illegally occupying Seoul Plaza, and if Seoul City fails to plant the grass in Seoul Plaza by April 14, KQCF cannot be held on June 3. Meanwhile, on April 12, we noticed that the grass had started to be planted partially in Seoul Plaza, and we inquired to the general affairs section of Seoul City whether we can use the planted part of Seoul Plaza for KQCF. But Seoul City maintained to their original position: “Organizing Committee should wait for one and a half months until the current situation, the anonymous organization occupying Seoul Plaza illegally, is resolved and the grass is planted and rooted on Seoul Plaza entirely. Seoul City cannot give a definite answer about the date when they can finalize these problems.”
Due to the situation described above, it has become impossible to use Seoul Plaza on Saturday, June 3, 2017, our planned date for the 18th KQCF.
- Nonetheless, KQCF should be held in Seoul Plaza this year and forever.
KQCF has been held for 17 years and it is going to be our 18th festival this year. KQCF is the largest festival compared to any kind of privately organized event in Korea. Every year, tens of thousands of civilians and tourists join KQCF to share the value of diversity and pride in themselves. KQCF has had more and more participants since it started to be held in Seoul Plaza in 2015. The KQCF Organizing Committee expects there will be more than 60,000 people joining KQCF this year.
Because Seoul Plaza is circular-shaped, it can ensure the safety of KQCF participants from queer-phobic groups. Also, Seoul plaza accommodates tens of thousands of people, and it’s the only place in Seoul for us to show our existence as queer individuals, which is our very purpose for holding KQCF.
Queer festivals are held in June all over the world, most of which are “Pride Parades”. Pride Parades abroad are well-supported by governments and enterprises, and they have official schedules such as the ‘1st Saturday of June each year’ in their countries. Also, they play important roles in attracting tourists.
However, in Korea, we have had too many difficulties and setbacks. KQCF has no support from the Korean Government and local governments, and enterprises are not every active in becoming sponsors. In addition, it has never been easy to hold KQCF on a fixed date and in a set location. Now is the time to remove these uncertainties by securing the location and official date for the festival, and to set a very solid foundation so that KQCF can grow bigger and bigger every year.
KQCF Organizing Committee expresses dissatisfaction over the incompetency of the administration of Seoul City. We made a judgement that it’s impossible to use Seoul Plaza on Saturday, June 3, and submitted a use declaration form to Seoul Plaza again with the declared date being Saturday, 15 July. (15 July is the earliest date that we can declare to use as of now.) Still, nothing can be guaranteed unless Seoul City changes its attitude. KQCF Organizing Committee will submit the use declaration form every week until Seoul City guarantees our use of Seoul Plaza for KQCF. We won’t stop our efforts, and we will keep appealing to civil society for their support until Seoul City shows us the proper changes in their position.
KQCF Organizing Committee claims the following:
1. Seoul City must correct their administrative incompetency related to using Seoul Plaza for KQCF.
1. Seoul City must properly ensure KQCF’s use of Seoul Plaza.
1. Seoul City must establish KQCF as an official annual event in Seoul Plaza.
- KQCF Organizing Committee -