For my latest Korea Times article, I interviewed Todd Henry and Minki Hong about their documentary, ‘Paradise,’ which uses oral history and animation to explore the history of Seoul’s last-standing (if no longer operating) theater that once served as a venue for gay cruising.
I didn't have the space to discuss Todd's other project, which he shared when Paradise was first screened at the theater late last year, which is mapping out queer spaces in Seoul, some dating back to the 1960s and 1970s, which have mostly disappeared (including one grouping of such spaces in Sindang-dong, the neighbourhood I now live in), almost all of which were "anchored" by the presence of second-run theaters where gay cruising took place. The maps he put together were assembled from "a fragmented variety" of sources, a "combination of real estate databases, aerial photography, oral histories, and textual sources" such as weekly magazines.
I recently discovered a two online real estate data bases, one which you have to enter an address for (and provides building information such as the year it was built), and another which provides a map which you can click on to find similar information, as well as information about the lot. Both are great tools which can be used to learn more about whatever neighbourhood or building you might be interested in.