New Cultural Spaces, New Sensibilities
Can the alliances described throughout this book be characterized as “co-optation” of social activism in contemporary South Korea? This chapter argues that this characterization does not help us to fully grasp the complex practices of the co-optors. In fact, former film activists and independent filmmakers who were “co-opted” by the state transformed South Korea’s film institutions, film censorship policies, and film industry, and elaborated the idea that Korean cinema was worthy of protection. In addition, they opened up new cultural venues that allowed the expression of underappreciated political and cultural sensibilities. This concluding chapter asserts that spaces of resistance were formed through unanticipated alliances and social processes and emphasizes that resistance emerged from “inside” power and transformed it from within. Being cognizant of the contingent yet transformative nature of resistance is fundamental to understanding South Korea’s ever-changing cultural landscape.
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