Photographer Eric Lafforg visited North Korea six times. On memory cards, he managed to take out of the country those of his photographs that should not have been in print.
When shooting, Laforfort sought to show that North Koreans are primarily unhappy people, and not those soulless robots that they appear in front photos.
1. The North Korean army is considered one of the largest in the world, but in fact soldiers are more likely to take up hard work than weapon.
2. “The authorities hate when people take such photos.” Even when I explained to them that poverty exists everywhere, they still forbade me to take these pictures. ”
3. “In difficult times (and they are here all the time), children can be seen working in the fields,” explains Lafort. - I was denied entry after a trip in September 2012, when I published several photos on the Internet. North Koreans saw them and asked to remove them, deeming them offensive. I refused because I thought it unjust not to show the reality of their country. ”According to the photographer, local residents have a hard time outside of Pyongyang and major cities. “Life is cruel in many places in North Korea, far from Western standards,” says the photographer.
In a small fishing village he was accepted as an honored guest. In this settlement have never seen a mobile phone. Its inhabitants are busy all day fishing and growing algae. "Even with such a difficult life, they spoke to me with tears in their eyes that they worshiped their respected leaders ... even if they sometimes lack food."
4. The North Korean government prohibits photographing anyone suffering from malnutrition, like this man ...
5. ... or this boy.
6. “It is forbidden to photograph people who are poorly dressed. According to my guide, this man was not well dressed enough for me to photograph him. ”
7. “I saw these children gathering corn on the street next to Begaebong,” explains Lafort.
8. A woman stands in the center of a crowd of soldiers. Authorities are not allowed to take photos of the military.
9. North Korea does not like to show its army. “You can see it all the time there, but you can't take pictures of it.”
10. “Taking pictures in the demilitarized zone (between North and South Korea) is easy, but if you get too close to the soldiers, they will stop you.”
11. Photographing soldiers on holiday in North Korea is also prohibited.
12. "During a visit to the dolphinarium in Pyongyang, you can photograph animals, but not the military, which make up 99% of the audience."
13. The North Korean authorities hate the pictures in which their soldiers rest. "This picture probably contributed to the fact that I was expelled from the country," - says Lafort.
14. A man is washing in a river near Pyongyang. "In rural areas, this is quite common."
15. “This man used an old tire instead of a boat. In rural areas, people often fish in lakes - this is a good way to get fresh food where it is very rare. ”
16. “During a bus ride to Chongjin, a region suffering from hunger, my camera was confiscated. When I saw people on the streets, I understood why. ”
17. “This man slept by the sea in Chilbo. My guide asked me to delete this photo because I was afraid that people would think that this man was dead. No, he was alive.
18. “In Caesón, next to the demilitarized zone, tourists live in a hotel complex built from old houses. Guides say the outside is all the same. No, it is not. ”
19. “These are common photos in the West. Signatures usually say that the North Koreans have to eat grass. Guides lose their temper if you take such a photo. ”
20. “People go to the village for community service. The authorities used to consider these images to be positive, but now they understand that we consider them evidence of forced labor. ”
21. “Passing by these buildings, the guides asked me not to shoot with a flash. The official reason is “not to scare people.”
22. “North Koreans are a bit paranoid. The guides asked me to delete this photo, because they were sure that I would later say that these people were homeless, but they were just resting. ”
23. Authorities believe that the photos in which smiling people stand under the portraits of the country's leaders are offensive. “Never take pictures when you see people doing stupid things in front of Kim’s portraits,” says Laforfort.
24. “Although there are more and more cars in Pyongyang, the common people are not used to them yet. Children continue to play in the middle of the road, as if not noticing cars passing by. ”
25. “In two supermarkets in Pyongyang, you will find all kinds of food and drinks. They even have Evian water, but only elite is packed up here. ”
26. “We were at the Pyongyang Art Gallery when the next outage occurred. When this happens, they say the Americans are to blame. ”
27. “Probably the most ridiculous ban of all. When I took this picture, everyone started shouting at me. Since the picture was unfinished, I could not take pictures of it. ”
28. “There should be laughter and fun in the Sondovon children's camp, but many children come here from the villages. They are scared, for example, by escalators that they have never seen before. ”
29. “The authorities had problems with this photo for two reasons: the teenager wears a cap in a strange way (according to my guide), and the military is visible in the background.”
30. “Pyongyang’s metro is the deepest in the world, because it also serves as a bomb shelter. I was asked to delete this photo, because there is a tunnel on it ”.
31. “Clothing is very important in North Korea. When I asked to photograph these students, the girl insisted that the guy straightened his shirt. ”
32. “When you visit families, guides love it when you take photos that show children with computers. But when they see that computers are not even turned on, they ask you to delete the picture! ”
33. “There are a lot of tired people on the roadside, because many have to spend hours riding a bicycle. Taking pictures of tired people is naturally forbidden. ”
34. Although the authorities covered the black market, the “gray market”, to which they turn a blind eye, allows some to scrape together for a living.
35. "It is prohibited to photograph the sign of the World Food Program through the window of a house in the village."
36. “A rare example of an unruly child in North Korea. The bus drove along the small roads of Samyon in the north when this boy ran out onto the road. ”
37. “The line is a national sport for North Koreans.” In this photo, people are waiting for their turn to catch the bus.
38. “Pyongyang is a showcase for North Korea, so the appearance of the buildings is carefully monitored. But it is worth looking inside, and all the secret becomes clear. "
39. At the festival in honor of Kim Jong-il, thousands of North Koreans stand in line for various monuments.
40. Visit the rural house. Houses and villagers for such surveys are carefully selected by the government. But sometimes some detail, for example, a bath as a reservoir for water, shows that life here is rather difficult.
41. There is almost no public transport for intercity traffic. Citizens must receive permission to move from one place to another. In this photo you can see the soldiers voting on the highway.
42. Poverty is forbidden to show, but the display of wealth is also prohibited. This car Laforg photographed on Sunday in one of the parks of Pyongyang. The owners of "Mercedes" arranged a barbecue.
43. Photos of soldiers on vacation are also prohibited.
44. It is absolutely forbidden to photograph the statue of Kim Il Sung from the back. This is considered very rude.