The general perception of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is often shaped by one of two familiar scripts. On one hand, tall tales of unicorns and Kim Jong-Il’s golfing prowess have long made the hermetic kingdom the butt of international jokes; on the other hand, well-documented cases of militaristic belligerence, the tight control of society and an extensive network of gulags have combined to paint a truly tragic picture.
But no nation on earth can be this easy to pigeonhole, even the DRPK. Unbeknownst to many, the nation opened its doors to tourism years ago and welcomes several thousand visitors annually. While it is true that these tours are scripted and tightly controlled, Enter Pyongyang, an amazing new video by JT Singh and Rob Whitworth, captures the vitality of North Korea’s capital, a place clearly struggling to juggle an adherence to traditional Korean values and the policy of juche (self-reliance) with a more modern and global approach to its affairs.
For more information on Enter Pyongyang, including how Whitworth and Singh gained access to these often restricted sites, check out the film’s description on Vimeo.
About Rob Whitworth
Rob Whitworth is a prominent urban filmmaker. He is responsible for creating awe-inspiring videos that reveal locations in a powerful and compelling manner. His works instantly identifiable style has gained widespread critical acclaim, and received over 6 million online views.
During 2014 Robert has been working on a number of major projects including shoots for the upcoming ‘One Planet’ series for the BBC Natural History Unit, a viral video of Barcelona sponsored by the Catalan tourism board, a short promotional film documenting McDonalds entry into the Vietnamese market, a city video of Pyongyang, North Korea, and a 30 second introduction for Tiny Times 3, a Chinese language blockbuster film that reached number 3 in the international box office charts on its opening weekend.
Originating from the UK, Robert gained his first-class honours degree in Photography from Norwich School of Art & Design. He is currently based in Shanghai, China and has extensive experience working in and around Asia specialising in time lapse.
About JT Singh
JT Singh is passionate about decoding the nuances of the emerging urban world and showing cities how they should show themselves. With this purpose, he has consistently masterminded some of the most groundbreaking urban initiatives around the world.
Currently Singh is working on various projects around the world to create mechanisms to help accelerate global engagement for cities, improve governance and drastically alter the way we understand and experience the urban world.
His unique work intertwines within the areas of place-brand management, urban policy, economic competitiveness, cultural policy, immigration, public diplomacy, foreign trade/investment, tourism, environmental design and more.
Enter Pyongyang courtesy of Vimeo, jtsingh; Slider and featured image courtesy of Rob Whitworth.