The Travel Diary: Documenting daily life in North Korea

The Travel Diary: Documenting daily life in North Korea
The people of the regime — Documentary photographer Gianluca Pardelli heads to North Korea to capture the human faces of this mysterious and repressive regime.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea, remains one of the most mysterious and nation states in the world. While understandably western headlines are dominated by stories of nuclear-weapon testing and gulags, photographer Gianluca Pardelli wanted to document the human side of this East Asian country.

A young singer walking past the red curtain of a theatre inside the Children's Palace, Pyongyang.

A young singer walking past the red curtain of a theatre inside the Children’s Palace, Pyongyang.

These images, shot in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea during an 8-day trip, belong to a wider series called Hermit Moments, in which Pardelli attempts to show different facets of little known countries.

A Subway officer in Pyongyang.

A Subway officer in Pyongyang.

The photographs represent both the stereotypical, but indeed very real, Orwellian aspects of North Korea alongside the much more human and authentic daily life.

A North Korean boy in Pyongyang’s central square.

A North Korean boy in Pyongyang’s central square.

A local visitor peeps out of the entrance of the Juche Tower.

A local visitor peeps out of the entrance of the Juche Tower.

Office worker, Pyongyang.

Office worker, Pyongyang.

At the library, Pyongyang.

At the library, Pyongyang.

North Korean citizens attending the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang.

North Korean citizens attending the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang.

Card stunt depicting the former DPRK leaders Kim-il-Sung and Kim-Jong- il.

Card stunt depicting the former DPRK leaders Kim-il-Sung and Kim-Jong- il.

Empty Pyongyang roads.

Empty Pyongyang roads.

North Korean woman in Pyongyang.

North Korean woman in Pyongyang.

Propaganda billboard in Wonson.

Propaganda billboard in Wonson.

Restaurant musicians in Wonson.

Restaurant musicians in Wonson.

A DPRK officer illustrating a map of the DMZ in Kaesong.

A DPRK officer illustrating a map of the DMZ in Kaesong.

Local fisherman, Wonson, North Korea.

Local fisherman, Wonson, North Korea.

Check out more of Gianluca Pardelli’s work.

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