North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality
Born 1981, Eindhoven, NL. Lives and works in Amsterdam, NL. Alice Wielinga graduated from the School of Fine Arts, St. Joost Breda as a documentary photographer. Her personal projects took her from China to Cuba and recently to Pakistan. With North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality, she won the Folio Review at Rencontres d'Arles 2014 and a Moscow International Foto Award 2015 in the Fine Art category.
Artistic project : North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality
April 2013. While the Western media follows Kim Jong-Un’s steps during his missile test launches, I travel 2,500 kilometres through the North Korean interior. Once arrived in North Korea, the images I know from my advance research correspond with the scenes my guides proudly show me during their propaganda tour. But seeing these scenes with my own eyes, I gradually discover that behind everything they present to me, a different reality is hidden.
Every time I visit a factory or a farm, it turns out to be a national holiday, an excuse for why the site is inactive and workers are absent. In almost every hotel where I stay, electricity is shut down that day due to an upcoming typhoon. While I listen to my guides talking about what invaluable contributions the greatly admired leaders made to their country, I drive through a landscape that looks haggard and desolate.
With the found images and my own photographs I compose a story that deconstructs the North Korean propaganda. The hidden side of the most isolated country in the world shimmers through the ideal the North Korean regime likes to portray.
Audioguide : listen to the artist’s reflexion on the theme « Play and Distraction »
© Alice Wielinga