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A Reflection for the Future: TEDxSNU

On February 12, the 2022 TEDxSNU Winter Event was unveiled. The audience flooded into the auditorium as they awaited the lectures that they were finally able to attend offline. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the previous TEDxSNU event was held online with pre-recorded lectures. After hosting an online event, however, the organizers of TEDxSNU became more determined to hold the next event in-person. This was not only because offline lecturers better delivered the messages to the audience but also because offline events provide a more enriching experience for the organizers. Therefore, in preparation for the 2022 TEDxSNU Winter Event, the organizing team sought ways to hold the event offline. At first, the organizing team encountered difficulty as they did not have previous data to rely on. After much effort, however, they found ways to host the event in-person, with proper social distancing measures implemented to follow public health regulations.

The lecture of director Lee Seong-Ho (Source: TEDx Talks youtube channel)
The lecture of director Lee Seong-Ho (Source: TEDx Talks youtube channel)

The theme for this year’s TEDxSNU event was “Fireworks to create a vivid scent.” It was selected after two weeks of careful deliberation where the organizers debated the originality and relevance of various theme ideas. In their deliberations, the organizers chose to steer clear of themes related to COVID-19, an undeniably important issue still affecting us all, but one that the organizers wanted to move beyond after two years of overexposure to it. With that in mind, the theme “Fireworks to create a vivid scent” was ultimately selected as the theme that best represents the values of TEDxSNU. Through this theme, the organizing team hoped to communicate the message that in the aftermath of the losses we encounter in society, there are new values that arise because persevere through those losses. Therefore, we need to face these losses that are often overlooked and consider these new values in more profundity. Only through that process can we create a clearer image of our identity.

The TEDxSNU event was divided into two sections and in total, five lecturers were invited to speak. The lecturers were chosen because their experiences most appropriately matched the event’s theme and they all explored different perspectives on the idea of new values arising from the experience of loss.

The lecturers who spoke during the first part of the event were director Lee Chang-Gil of the Gaehang-ro Project and illustrator Um Yu-jin. They provided insight on how to calmly face our dilemmas and discover greater value through them. In particular, director Lee Chang-Gil spoke on his project’s uniqueness, which attempts to revitalize the disappearing city of Gaehang, while illustrator Um Yu-jin spoke on how the precious memories of her relationship with her mother amplified as her mother started to lose her memory.

In the second half of the event, director Lee Seong-Ho of the digital design company “d’strict,” director Gu Bon-Gwon of the Hankyoreh Human and Digital Research Institute, and sand artist Ju-Hong were invited to speak. Together, they spoke on the idea of an identity that only arises when we embrace multiple values and have strong endless courage. Director Gu Bon-Gwon spoke about the values that will disappear in our society of excessive information and sand artist Ju-Hong gave insight on the attitude we must sometimes take when we face our losses. Director Lee Seong-Ho wrapped up the second half of TEDxSNU by speaking about the struggles of living a life of creating art.

Although all the lectures were about their own experiences, they all linked to the common theme of confronting our hardships and learning from them. Through these lectures, the organizers of the 2022 TEDxSNU Winter Event hoped that the event would help those in attendance to broaden their perspectives and slowly make changes not only to their own lives but to the society we live in.

Written by Yeryoung Lee, SNU English Editor, yeryounglee@snu.ac.kr
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, tlsmith@snu.ac.kr