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Korean indie musicians team up to support democratization in Myanmar

A poster for the 2021 version of “March for the Beloved” (Walking After U Twitter)
A poster for the 2021 version of “March for the Beloved” (Walking After U Twitter)

South Korean indie musicians have teamed up to support activists struggling against the military junta in Myanmar, an association of Korean indie musicians for democratization in Myanmar said Thursday.

On Monday they plan to release a rock version of “March for the Beloved,” originally a tribute to the victims of the 1980 Gwangju Democratic Uprising.

Thirteen vocalists from 10 indie bands, including Tacopy, ABTB, Shingaram Band, Fishingirls and Walking After U, collaborated on the song.

“The Korean indie association does not represent the whole indie scene of Korea. But it is meaningful that musicians have voluntarily gathered to start a small movement and support Myanmar citizens. We wish other musicians could join us,” said Walking After U on Twitter.

Kim Jong-ryul, who composed the original version of “March for the Beloved,” gave his blessing to the new version.

The original song, written in the 1980s, was about the romance between activist Yoon Sang-won, who died in the Gwangju Democratic Uprising on May 18, 1980, and a labor rights activist named Park Gi-soon who died a few years earlier.

Over time, it came to symbolize the grief of those who died fighting for their rights in the uprising.

In 2019, the song was also played before a million-plus protesters in Hong Kong who opposed China’s creeping authoritarianism.

The song will be released at noon on Monday on YouTube and music streaming platforms. The YouTube video will feature scenes from the Gwangju Uprising and Myanmar’s democratization movement, and the Korean lyrics will be subtitled in Myanmar’s language. Any profit will be donated to people in Myanmar.

By Byun Hye-jin (