“Enter Pyongyang” shows North Korea’s capital in a vibrating flow motion hyperlapse video
posted Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 9:31 AM EDT
North Korea is one of the last mysterious places in the world, characterized mostly by its reclusiveness and frequent provocative rhetoric. Not too long ago, there was very little that the outside world knew about the country, apart from the recurring reports of threats of war issued by its 'supreme leader.' In the recent past, though, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has slowly begun to open up towards the outside, allowing international visitors to travel to various cities throughout the country.
It's these visitors, whose numbers are estimated to be about 4,000-6,000 each year, who bring word (and increasingly also pictures and videos) of the daily life inside the last remaining Stalinist country in the world. Most of what we know about the people of North Korea comes from the reports of those who have visited the country, and who allow us to take a glimpse at what it looks like from the inside.
The most recent images of North Korea's capital Pyonyang that made their way into the western world were taken by photographer and videographer Robert Whitworth, whose work we featured before on Imaging Resource. Collaborating with Koryo Tours, a company that arranges trips to North Korea for international visitors, and JT Singh, who specializes in tourism attraction, Whitworth travelled to the country's capital and created what is possibly the first-ever flow motion hyperlapse video of the city.
"Enter Pyonyang" takes the viewer on a trip through the city's streets, its subway system and to many of its architectural sights. Meanwhile, it tries to portray not only Pyongyang's architecture and infrastructure, but also its inhabitants who want "to be a normal country" according to the foreword to the video. While the video tries not to show the city in a propagandistic way, Rob Whitworth admits that "people living in Pyongyang and other major cities enjoy a higher quality of life than those in other parts of the county."
For some watching the video, the doubt as to whether the scenes shown are honestly portraying the daily life of Pyongyang may remain. But for lack of better knowledge, it is safe to assume that what Robert Whitworth and his team captured during their trip is as authentic it gets to the eyes of outsiders.