This summer, we have the chance to take Notebook on Cities and Culture to South Korea, for my money easily the most fascinating country going in Asia right now. You may already have encountered and enjoyed its rich cultural output in the form of its food, its music (yes, the roots go deeper than “Gangnam Style”; I personally prefer the stuff from the sixties and seventies), its television, or its cinema. I had my own interest in Korea kindled by the films of Hong Sangsoo — to such an extent, in fact, that I’ve thrown myself into the study of the language and plan to move there within a couple years.
Having come to surprising economic prominence only since the fifties, Korea has more recently made serious efforts to share its considerable interestingness with the world. In that mission, I feel Notebook on Cities and Culture has something of a role to play. Hence the show’s Korea Tour: an entire season of in-depth conversations — the very same kind you’ve come to expect — with creators and observers living and working in Korea. And not just in the vast, obviously exciting capital of Seoul, either: I’ll make my way to many other intriguing cities as well, recording all sorts of interviews with Koreans and Korea-based non-Koreans alike for you to enjoy and from which you’ll (and I’ll) learn a great deal.
As with any season of Notebook on Cities and Culture, we’ll use Kickstarter to raise the Korea Tour’s budget. As a die-hard cheap traveler, I should be able to get you guys at the very least 30 to 40 long-form conversations (and, of course, neato vintage Korean postcards) for about $5,000 total. The drive will begin in April, and if it succeeds, the interviews will air immediately after season four ends. I’ll keep you posted, and if you have any ideas or guest recommendations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Risks and challenges
The main challenges this season include scheduling the trips to each city within Korea, and then scheduling each individual interview within them. (Blocking out a month and a half in Korea to do all this, as I have, will help make these arrangements more convenient.) However, those represent expansions of the challenges successfully met in the show's first, second, third, and (so far) fourth seasons, which themselves required a great deal of negotiation, rescheduling, improvisation, and last-minute substitution to pull off. As with the previous seasons, between six and eight podcast episodes should appear per month. Should any technical or logistical issues — recording gear failure, multiple guest sicknesses, flight cancellations — delay the completion of episodes at the established pace, we'll still record and post, in the fullness of time, a total at least between, 30 and 40, no matter what.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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