Posted : 2013-12-16 17:10
Updated : 2013-12-16 17:10

'How are you doing?' poster going viral

Students read a poster, titled “I’m not doing well,” at a bulletin board at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, Monday. The poster is part of collegians’ poster activism in support of a Korea University student’s poster calling on students to pay greater attention to social issues. / Yonhap

By Nam Hyun-woo

A growing number of people, on and outside college campuses, are expressing support for a poster made by an undergraduate that calls for students to pay more attention to social issues and actively engage in them.

On Dec. 10, a poster, titled “How are you all doing?” was put up on a bulletin board at Korea University.

It reads: “I just want to ask everybody. How are you all doing? Is it okay for you to ignore social issues since it is not your business? Aren’t you hiding yourself or justifying your ignorance, citing ‘political apathy?’”

Written by a senior at the university’s Business School, Ju Hyun-woo, the poster highlights a number of social issues, including the sacking of over 4,000 rail workers after they launched a massive strike.

“Some 4,200 people lost their jobs in one day just because they opposed the privatization of the railways. In a rural town, (Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province) a villager killed himself over the erection of electric pylons, which they opposed out of health concerns. In such a weird society, how is everybody doing?” he wrote.

After an Internet user posted the photo of the poster, it went viral online and other collegians started to post similar public notices on their campuses.

As of Monday, more than 30 posters have appeared offering a response to his question, “We are not doing well”. These were put up next to Ju’s poster and students at universities nationwide, including Sogang, Pusan National and Chung-ang Universities also put up posters calling for students to pay attention to issues.

The messages reverberated with people of various age groups who expressed their concerns over other issues that Ju did not mention.

On a Facebook page, with the same name, more than 210,000 users hit the “Like” button and an increasing number of people posted photos showing message boards that read, “We are not doing well.”

“I didn’t start this for political purposes,” said Ju during an interview with a local radio. “I read a news article that some 4,200 rail workers lost their job in just a day and felt so much regret.”

“I believe the reason why people are joining this poster-action is that I asked them ‘How are you doing?’ They may have their own reasons for not doing well, so they all replied to my questions citing what they see as problematic,” he added.

Meanwhile, conservatives are showing opposition to this poster activism.

A student at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, countered Sunday with a poster that reads: “If I oppose rail workers’ strike and support erection pylons constructions in Miryang, am I an unenlightened student?“

A conservative lawmaker, Rep. Ha Tae-keung of the ruling Saenuri Party said that their claims are based on distorted facts.

“They are not doing well because they lack basic knowledge. The first sentence of Ju’s poster is not fact,” he claimed during another radio interview, saying that the rail workers did not “lose their jobs,” but were “suspended from their jobs.”

Some members of Ilbe, an Internet community known for its ultra conservative members, also took an action. On Saturday, a member posted on its website, photos of people tearing down the posters at Korea University with the caption “I did this because I hate commies smearing the school’s reputation.”

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