North Korea calling
8 days in North Korea, taking in the sights and sounds of Pyongyang, the demilitarized zone, and the countryside was an eye-opener.I can't say I've seen it all, but I've been allowed more leeway than expected to make my own observations and opportunities to come close to locals.
Photography isn't part of the culture in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). It isn't understood the way we obsess over in our world.Like the old days, it is interpretated the same way our grandparents. The occasion to be photographed calls for one to be dressed in their formal best, like a portrait sitting, and photographed completely from head to toe- not cropped off in creative manners.
Photographing a man in his worn-out workclothes and boots walking on the streets would be a bizarre concept. As you can imagine, street shots weren't greeted with welcome. Selfies weren't understood.
To capture an authentic moment, I feel, was often interpretated as an act of scrutinzing a person's actions, right or wrong- and generally scorned upon. It is drawing attention to a single person, in a socialist society that moves in masses. A monk, in a temple, on being photographed said "I feel like an animal in the zoo."