Paranoid and Isolated in North Korea

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  10.15.09 | 9:47 AM ET

Photojournalist Sean Gallagher looks back at a trip he and writer Mark MacKinnon took to North Korea, both posing as regular tourists. The details in the post—quizzes about science and history from government minders, fears about bugged hotel rooms—are fascinating, and the post ends on a thoughtful note:

As much as I would have liked to, getting close to the everyday person proved to be almost impossible. Hence, my photographs from this journey have a sense of isolation about them. It is an isolation probably born from my own feelings while being there. People are dwarfed against the mighty, imposing communist-era architecture, small and insignificant against the overbearing size of the buildings.

For me, my images from this trip have raised more questions than answers.

(Via @markmackinnon)

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

2 Comments for Paranoid and Isolated in North Korea

Grizzly Bear Mom 10.15.09 | 3:47 PM ET

I used to live in South Korea, and this is eactly the same impression I had of the North.  The individual is nothing, the state is all.  Also BIG BROTHER is watching YOU, Winston Smith.

Luray VA accommodations 11.10.09 | 7:27 AM ET

In the area of the Kŭmgangsan-mountains, the company Hyundai established and operates a special Tourist area. Traveling to this area is also possible for South Koreans and US citizens, but only in organized groups from South Korea.

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