North Korea executes performers by firing squad over alleged ‘porn scandal’ – WHAT?

I don’t know much about North Korea, and I readily admit that I don’t understand how the Communist dictatorship works.

I don’t pretend to understand the reasons behind the execution of a dozen “well-known performers” in North Korea recently. With machine guns. Machine. Guns.

What I can do is comment on how I feel about it. I am horrified, heartbroken and furious for the artists and their families who suffered during these heinous acts. According to News.com.au today, performers fromĀ the Unhasu Orchestra and the Wangjaesan Light Music Band were executed by firing squad. One of the deceased, a former girlfriend of Kim Jong-Un was murdered while her family watched just three days after being arrested.

Read the article on news.com.au and then let it sink in for a minute. Are you still with me?

As I sit in my very comfortable office and contemplate which combination of words to string together for this article, I am reminded how very, very lucky we are as artists in this country. As anyone in this country, really. We are free to enjoy and perform works of art which allow self expression without fear of persecution. If we are accused of “breaching pornography laws”, for example, I’m certain we wouldn’t meet a firing squad and that’s just the start of it…

I’m angry. I’m astounded. I could write for hours, but even if I did, I still don’t know how that would make a real difference. So instead, I thought I’d just bring this to your attention.

What can we do about it? Can we do anything about it? Please let me know your thoughts…

 

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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