Squid Game workshop

A workshop subverting the horror themes of the TV show Squd Game to discuss issues of youth poverty led by Korean youth leaders drew an enthusiastic group of participants at the WCC 11th Assembly.


The workshop was introduced with a game, where participants were asked to step forward if they experienced privilege or backwards if they were disadvantaged in a variety of ways—by youth, economic opportunity, gender, race, and more. The outcome of the game presented a key issue: in front stood mostly white men, followed by white women—generally part of the older generation—and at the very back stood women of colour and youth, predominantly.

The group also introduced the concept of Perichoresis which is a Christian concept used to signify the renewing relations of the Trinity (Creator, Saviour and Sustainer). The leaders presented various folk dances and games. One, in particular, was the Ganggang Sullae, the Korean equivalent of the concept of Perichoresis.

Players sing the words as they twist and turn into one another, turning round and round, twisting closer together into a human knot. In being tied together in difficult situations we look to one another for support and solidarity. We stand together, knowing also that God is present amongst us, able to free us from our situations. Workshop participants prayed the words together: We are connected when we are looking at each other, and when we are not looking at each other we are still connected. We are always connected.”

The Korean context has many obstacles, explained Junyoung Kim from the Korean Methodist Church. So, we want to see how we can solve this problem, biblically and Christianly, so we tried to make an intimate connection with Ganggang sullae which expresses Perichoresis, and we want to share it, for we are tied up now, but God can free us from the distress,” said Kim.

The concept of Gangang sullae presents a theological, connected way of dealing with difficult situations, in stark contrast to the violence displayed in Squid Game. The workshop explored how the Christian paradigm of Perichoresis presents a "new imagination" for dealing with injustice and inequality in unity.

Young people left the workshop with a view of how, through standing in solidarity, community, and relationship with each other and with God, they can overcome barriers.