Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Masks are Just the First Steps to Personhood

During May of this year, many face masks appeared at Seoul Station and Gwanghwamun square. They wore a Guy Fawkes mask which represents those who have not been able to express their feelings of being underdogs in society. They have come out of the silence and began to voice their frustrations. A professor in a humanities program of a Catholic University writes in the Catholic Peace Weekly of the meaning of this movement.

Guy Fawkes (1570-1606) was a member of a Roman Catholic Revolutionary Organization. He was the best-known member of the group who tried to assassinate James I (1566-1625) king of England who led the Reformation and persecution against the Catholics in England. However, an informer prevented the plot and  Fawkes was killed.

The Guy Fawkes mask comes from a comic strip character and movie where the V stands for Vendetta the revolutionist V and protagonist. Masks have appeared in protests against totalitarianism. In 2011 on Wall Street against financial capitalism. 

Anonymous, a group of the people on the internet who want justice for every citizen of the world wear the Guy Fawkes masks and declared war on the ISIS and also the American Scientology Religion. The masks have appeared in Korea with the members demanding the resignation of the family members of a company they considered using arrogant behavior in their dealings with others.

Persona, is a Latin word originally meaning a mask used by actors in theater plays. The writer wants to concentrate on mask and personality. 'Guy Fawkes Mask' means you will not give up until you win. They hide their identity so as not to be disadvantaged. The person hiding their identity may be members of the company and in their attendance at the candlelight vigil with the masks prevents any retaliation from the company.

Masks protect their anonymity and symbolizes resistance, victory, disadvantage, anonymity to be truly a person with a personality. It's an attempt of the disadvantaged in the world who want to go beyond wealth, honor, education, specialties, power, position, age, race, culture, capitalists and workers. A need to recognize a person as equal and respect them. It is a revolt of the disadvantaged seeking their proper place in society which should go beyond  rallies.   

The disadvantaged revolt against the advantaged is hoping to see the end of this dichotomy. The key to solving the problem is to the love and respect the poor, the alienated and to put them in the first place as Jesus did in his life on earth.

We need to change the understanding of silence in the presence of injustice. When absurdity and corruption is singled out, one should not be  disadvantaged, it's this kind of society we want to see. A society in which common sense exists. When the advantaged and disadvantaged can work together in building a just, equal and happy society and have this common dream we will see results. She hopes that the masks will be the first steps in seeing the true 'personas' appear without the masks.          

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