Contrary to popular belief, you can actually visit North Korea if you want to and obtaining a tourist visa isn't that difficult. As long as you're not part of the media. Just don't hope to travel independently and be prepared to follow certain rules.
French photographer Hélène Veilleux is someone who recently visited Pyongyang, North Korea's secretive capital. As a tourist, with her forehead pressed against a bus window, accompanied by guides – presumably to ensure she does exactly what they want and doesn't run off at her own free will – she takes as many snaps as she can.
Speaking of her trip, she talks of urgency to document what she sees: "Clinging to my camera, accumulating postcard pictures, I hope to finally confront the reality of this city nestled beyond the 38th parallel north with the sum of the images, rumours and fantasies laying inside me. But I’m a tourist, and the bus is back on track…"
Tourist companies in North Korea – or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, if we want to be accurate – have seen a surge in the number of holidaymakers travelling to their beloved home. Some believe Kim Jong-un has sparked international interest with many people's curiosity driving them there with the hope of an insight into what is the most secretive country on earth. If you're one of those inquisitive people, then hopefully Veilleux's photo series will satisfy your curiosity.
Discover more of her work at ladentdeloeil.net.
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