The author of these images was denied entry to the country.
These pictures were taken by photographer Eric Lafforgue during his last visit to the closed country. The latter — not in the sense most recent, and in the sense that now the entry into this country closed to him forever. He took these photos during the tours with government-approved guides, who asked him to delete all pictures. But Eric Lafforgue managed to save them and later put on public display.
Photographer Eric Lafford visited North Korea six times. On memory cards he managed to take out those images that were not supposed to get into print.
When shooting Lafford sought to show that the people of North Korea — it is primarily poor people, and not those soulless robots that they seem to be on the front photos.
1. “The authorities hate it when people do this sort of photography. Even when I explained that poverty exists everywhere, they still forbade me to do these pictures”.
2. The North Korean army is considered one of the largest in the world, but in fact soldiers often have to take up menial work than a weapon.
3. “In the difficult times (and they are always here) children can be seen working in the fields, says Lafford. — I was denied entry after a trip in September 2012 when I published some photos on the Internet. The North Koreans saw them and asked to remove it, deeming it offensive. I refused, because they thought unfair not to show the reality of their country.”According to the photographer, the locals have to work hard outside of Pyongyang and major cities. “Life is brutal in many places of North Korea, far from Western standards,” — says the photographer.
In the little fishing village he was received as the guest of honor. In this village have never seen a mobile phone. Its inhabitants are busy all day fishing and seaweed farming. “Even with such a hard life they told me with tears in his eyes that honor their esteemed leaders… even if sometimes they do not have enough food.”
4. The North Korean government forbids taking photos of all who are suffering from malnutrition like this man…
5. …or this boy.
6. “It is forbidden to photograph people who are badly dressed. According to my guide this man was not well dressed, so I could photograph it”.
7. “I saw these children collecting corn on the street near Bagabaga,” explains Lafford.
8. A woman stands in the middle of the crowd of soldiers. Authorities are not allowed to take pictures of the military.
9. North Korea does not like to show your army. “Here you can see there all the time, but taking pictures is not allowed.”
10. “Taking pictures in the demilitarised zone (between North and South Korea) is easy, but if you get too close to the soldiers, they will stop you.”
11. Photograph of soldiers on vacation in North Korea is also forbidden.
12. “During a visit to the Dolphinarium in Pyongyang, you can photograph animals, but not the military, who make up 99% of the audience”.
13. North Korean authorities hate pictures where the soldiers are resting. “This picture certainly contributed to the fact that I was expelled from the country,” says Lafford.
14. A man washes in a river in Pyongyang. “In rural areas it’s pretty common”.
15. “This man used the old bus instead of a boat. In rural areas people often fish in small lakes is a good way to get fresh food where it is rare.”
16. “At the time of the bus trip to Chongjin, district, suffering from hunger, my camera was confiscated. When I saw people on the streets, I realized why.”
17. “This man slept by the sea in Chilbo. My guide asked me to delete that photo because I was afraid that people will think that this man is dead. No, he was alive.”
18. “In Kaesong, near the demilitarized zone, tourists living in the hotel complex, built out of old houses. The guides say that from the outside all the same. No, it is not so.”
19. “Here are the photos circulated in the West. Signatures usually say that the North Koreans have to eat grass. The guides go out of himself, if you make a photo”.
20. “People go to the village for public works. Early authorities considered these images are positive, but they now understand that we consider them to be evidence of forced labour”.
21. “Passing by these buildings, the guides asked me not to shoot with flash. The official reason — “so as not to scare people.”
22. “The North Koreans are a bit paranoid. The guides asked me to remove this photo because I was sure that I would then say that these people are homeless, but they were just resting.”
23. Authorities believe that photos in which the smiling people standing under portraits of the leaders of the country, are offensive. “Never take pictures when I see that people do stupid things in front of the Kim portraits,” says Lafford.
24. “Although the cars in Pyongyang is becoming more common people to them are not used to. Children continue to play in the middle of the road, as if oblivious to passing cars.”
25. “In two supermarkets in Pyongyang you will find all kinds of food and drinks. They even have Evian water but shops here only the elite”.
26. “We were in an art gallery in Pyongyang, when there was another power outage. When this happens, say that to blame the Americans.”
27. “Perhaps the most ridiculous prohibition of all. When I took this picture, everyone started to scream at me. Because the painting was unfinished, I could not photograph.”
28. “At camp Songdowon should be laughter and fun, but many children come here from the villages. They’re scared, for example, with escalators, which have never been seen before.”
29. “The authorities have any problems with this photo for two reasons: a teenager wears a cap in a weird way (according to my guide), and in the background are visible the military.”
30. “Pyongyang metro — the deepest in the world, because it also functions as a bomb shelter. I was asked to remove this photo because it shows the tunnel.”
31. “The clothes are very important in North Korea. When I asked to take pictures of these students, the girl insisted that the boy straightened his shirt.”
32. “When I visit families, the guides love it when you do photos, which show children with computers. But when they see that computers are not even included, they’re asking you to remove a picture!”
33. “On the side of the road a lot of tired people, because many have to drive hours to work on the bike. Taking pictures tired of people, of course, prohibited.”
34. Although the authorities closed the black market, “gray market” that they close their eyes, it allows some to scrape together a living.
35. “To photograph the sign of the world food programme through the window of a house in the village is prohibited.”
36. “A rare example of an undisciplined kid in North Korea. The bus was driving on the small roads of Sameone in the North, when this boy ran into the road”.
37. “The queue is a national sport for North Koreans”. In this photo, people waiting for their turn to get on the bus.
38. “Pyongyang is the showcase of North Korea, so the appearance of the buildings carefully monitored. But it’s worth a look inside, and all secret becomes obvious”.
39. The festival in honor of Kim Jong Il, thousands of North Koreans queue up to various monuments.
40. A visit to the rural home. The house and the villagers for such filming are carefully selected by the government. But sometimes some detail, for example, the bath as a reservoir for the water supply, shows that the life here is pretty difficult.
41. Public transport for long-distance messages is almost there. Citizens must obtain permission to move from one place to another. In this picture you can see soldiers hitchhiking on the highway.
42. Show poverty is prohibited, but the display of wealth is also banned. This car Laforge photographed on Sunday in one of the parks of Pyongyang. Owners of the Mercedes had a barbecue.
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