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19 July 2015

Alice Wielinga at The Rencontres d’Arles 2015

NORTH KOREA, A LIFE BETWEEN PROPAGANDA AND REALITY

Winner of the 2014 photo Follo Review

 

April 2013. While the Western media dogs Kim Jong‐un’s steps during his missile test launches, I travel 2,500 kilometres through the North Korean interior. Once arrived in North Korea, the images I know from my advance research correspond with the scenes my guides proudly show me during their propaganda tour. But seeing these scenes with my own eyes, I gradually discover that behind everything they present to me, a different reality is hidden. Every time I visit a factory or a farm, it turns out to be a national holiday, an excuse for why the site is inactive and workers are absent. In almost every hotel where I stay, electricity is shut down that day due to an upcoming typhoon. While I listen to my guides talking about what invaluable contributions the greatly admired leaders made to their country, I drive through a landscape that looks haggard and desolate.

During my journey I collect propaganda material and take photographs of the reality I encounter. This material is the basis for my multimedia project North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality. With the found propaganda images and my own photographs I compose a story that deconstructs the north Korean propaganda. The hidden side of the most isolated country in the world shimmers through the ideal the North Korean regime likes to portray.

Alice Wielinga

 

With support from Yellowkorner.

Exhibition venue: église Saint-blaise.