May 2, 2007

Fabulous Gallery of Recent North Korea Photographs

Yannis Kontos pays a visit, by Marianne Fulton:

If one is tempted to think photography isn't important – witness North Korea.

Photojournalists are not welcome and their attempts to obtain a visa are rejected, as were those of Yannis Kontos. He tried for three years to travel to North Korea as a professional photographer. He wrote in his November 2006 Dispatch [] that his luck changed when he traveled as a tourist. But tourist cameras are also restricted to choreographed events and sites.

Kontos described his working conditions while trying to capture everyday life, in part:

"Almost 80 percent of my pictures were taken in secret using several different methods to avoid the attention of my minders. Frequently acting and feeling like a spy using my camera's self-timer, most of the time I was shooting without looking at the viewfinder, even from inside a bus or a train. I managed to catch the mood of the country and little by little I collected enough material for a story. Every night, I was downloading my pictures in secret to my MP3 player, unbeknownst to my roommate. …

Posted by James Zellmer at May 2, 2007 11:23 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Travel