North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship based on the cult of the Kim dynasty. It is also one of the most secluded countries in the world, and its citizens’ rights are subsumed by the country’s needs. Citizens there have no freedom of speech, the media is strictly controlled, and no one is allowed to leave the country.

Within the country, continuous and incessant propaganda against the US portrays the South Korean population as a victim of an American invasion. The North Koreans live in a constant state of alert, as if the US could attack on any day.

Korean Dream, #18. Kim, 12 years old, works as a guide to the Children’s Palace. © Filippo Venturi, Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

At the same time, the propaganda aims to instill a great sense of pride in the country’s technical progress. Fueled by the Supreme Leader, this culminated in the country developing its own atomic bomb.

Pyongyang youngsters have been educated to become knowledgeable adults, especially in scientific fields. The hope is to foster the development of new armaments and technologies, all while chasing the dream of reuniting Korea as a whole and “free” state.

—Filippo Venturi

This project was named among the top 50 in our Emerging Talent Awards 2017. Discover all the other inspiring projects from this year’s talents!