There is a place called food bank. It is a non-profit organization that supports low income groups by receiving donation such as food and household items. As the non-Korean name tells us, the organization was founded in a foreign country and expanded into Korea. Recently, there has been a person who brought the food bank into focus internationally. It is due to the thank you remarks by Anna Burns, who won the Man Booker Prize for her book "Milkman," of which the narrator is a girl who reads books while walking.
Her thanks at end of the book, which demonstrates the pain of conflict in North Ireland, makes readers somber. Readers realize that the story could not have been written if it were not for many charity organizations including food bank and home link as well as welfare policies. Indeed, Burns was a hungry writer. To make matters worse, she suffered from chronic backaches and neuralgia. Thus, she had to get a loan to write and receive help from various places including food bank.
When asked about what she was going to do with the prize money of some 70 million won (about 6,200 U.S. dollars), she answered that she will pay off her debt first and live with the remaining. Burns brutally shows the reality of hungry artists who have no choice but to be subordinated by economy. Ordinary people would have given up a long time ago and the society would have taken that naturally. Art appears to be impossible for a person who is not wealthy, let alone unhealthy. You don’t have to be born with a silver spoon but need to be at least free from maintaining an average life to produce art. It is a pity yet a reality. This is the reason why it is difficult for us to see artists from low income groups.
In this world, however, there are many people who have artistic talents even though they are as poor as to look for a food bank. They are pushed out of art and sometime life because of poverty. The success of Burns may be slightly encouraging to them. It is more so as Burns made an invaluable achievement in a world where poverty is regarded as an ethical deficit or failure. Would this not be enough reason for the society to be more considerate of impoverished artists?