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Greece 2018: Philosophy with Soeun

Greece 2018: Philosophy with Soeun

Ever since TGS set foot in India, Soeun Kim (South Korea) has been sharing her passion for philosophy with our community through two different weekly programmes. Based on her belief that “philosophy is the most important subject of all” Soeun guides a Philosophy & Sweets session and a Game Of Thrones session every week. The sessions revolve around Soeun’s own dedicated research, knowledge, and readings in her own time, which she then shares with the wider community in varying locations over sweet treats.

Philosophy & Sweets is a new addition to her project, and it kicked off here in Greece to accommodate to those who don’t watch Game Of Thrones and who have a terrible sweet tooth!  Being here in Greece is a fantastic opportunity for budding philosophers, as much of the western world has been influenced by ideas that stemmed from Greek philosophy. In specific, Socrates, a classical Greek philosopher was an element of last week's session, where the group headed to the prison that overlooked the in which he was held to discuss and learn about his philosophies.

In these discussions, Soeun likes to focus on life’s original questions, the ones without the influence of science or new social constructs as she believes that many ideas can be drawn from these questions that directly relate to our daily lives in the 21st century and that they are very thought-provoking and important to discuss.

“Soeun has created a community that nurtures the inner philosopher in us all, and encourages even the more philosophically-challenged to have a go tackling the big questions that surround the human experience.” (Amelie A, New Zealand)

Not only does Soeun run Philosophy & Sweets but she also runs her original project and weekly class that combines her love for philosophy with her love for the popular television series Game Of Thrones. In these sessions, they look at scenarios and examples from the series and analyze them in relation to philosophical concepts. These sessions are often spent deep in abstract discussion and their work as a group is displayed at the end of term showcases.

The highlight of our Hiroshima showcase was Soeun’s incredible Game Of Thrones-themed booth that incorporated background music, costumes, clever audience interaction and the recurring theme of sweet treats. Students, teachers, and guests were encouraged to sit down at the booth before the cloaked and costumed members of the group and confess something to them in return for a chocolate. Once they had confessed, each member proposed a different philosophical concept and the guest had to decide which one aligned the best with their approach to this confession and was then handed a treat as a reward. This idea was a huge success, and at one point there was a long queue to confess!

In Greece and beyond, Soeun will continue to work on her project and study philosophy in her own time through different chosen mediums such as youtube videos, books, academic journals, dictionaries of philosophy and current events in relation to philosophy. This two sessions combined make up her project, which is headed for mastery and will be carried out for the next year to come.

This particular project is one that the community directly benefits from, and is very popular and appreciated by students. It strikes a perfect balance between Soeun gaining more knowledge on philosophy and experiencing her own personal, academic growth as while simultaneously enabling other members of the community to benefit from the knowledge and ideas that Souen is so passionate about sharing.

Some comments from her participants include:

“Soeun has been a great role model for the group. She has always brought an interesting perspective to the discussion. She has successfully facilitated many interesting conversations that have certainly made an impact on several people”  (Maxim S, Canada)

“It is very interesting and fun. Soeun does a great job, directing the session without lecturing. She has very well thought through ideas and really is an inspiration.” (Maren H, Germany)

Whether it’s at the foot of the Socrates prison or at a decorated booth at our Japan showcase, Soeun and her passion for philosophy is making an extremely positive impact on our community and inspiring many students. We all can’t wait for what the group presents this time at our upcoming Symposium in Spain!

By L.W Edwards

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