본문 바로가기
  • Home

Toward Cinema for All People—Barrier-free Films and Cultural Civil Rights

Hwajin Lee 1

1인하대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Barrier-free films enhance accessibility to audiovisual image contents by providing specific information on screen and through sound so that people with vision or hearing loss can receive the same amount of information as those without disabilities and immerse themselves in the audiovisual images. This study pays attention to barrier-free audiovisual contents in relation to the cultural civil rights of people with vision or hearing loss in South Korea. While institutional efforts have been made in the 2010s to improve the access to audiovisual media of people with vision or hearing loss, the goal of enabling people with vision or hearing loss to fully enjoy all audiovisual contents at a level equal to the non-disabled has not yet been realized. Amid the lingering conflict between disabled groups and multiplexes that has lasted years, the global video streaming service Netflix has aggressively threatened the dominance of local multiplexes with the launch of its Korean service. As Netflix, which is subject to U.S. regulations guaranteeing the rights of people with vision or hearing loss, has produced original dramas and movies involving Korean production teams, the cultural civil rights discourse of the disabled has transitioned to the issue of the rights of cultural consumers crossing national borders in the era of globalization. Changes in the media environment raise the issue of civil rights guarantees in which disabled people enjoy the right to simultaneously watch movies and comment on movies by participating in a common discourse, equally with non-disabled people. The “right to be part of the audience for Korean cinema” for Korean deaf people, which has long been neglected, should also be considered as a cultural civil right that crosses the boundaries of language, nation and disabilities. This essay examines the current issues surrounding the right to cultural entertainment of people with vision or hearing loss in South Korea in conjunction with the contemporary trend of rapid changes in the media environment and the global spread of the movement for cultural civil rights of people with disabilities, and suggests the need for visual culture studies to take a serious step toward disability studies.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.