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Uncensored Instagram Photos from North Korea Offer Glimpse Behind Shroud of Secrecy

By Anthony Thurston on November 17th 2013

Photographer David Guttenfelder first went to North Korea in 2000, the country was (and still is) one of the most secretive in the world. Since then the veil has been slowly raised, and now has gotten to the point where the North Korean government installed a 3G network specifically for visitors to have access to their phones (citizens are still without the internet or cell phones).



Guttenfelder has taken to posting images live to Instagram from the streets of North Korea. The images offer a glimpse inside of a country that we know little about. Images such as this would never have been possible years ago, and the fact that they are coming from a country without the Internet makes them even more special. David had this to say regarding the images…

No one puts their hand in front of my camera, and no one tells me not to shoot things. There’s no review process. They don’t look at my pictures at all before I send them on the Associated Press wire or my Instagram account. Facebook even asks me to tag my “friends” Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung when I upload my photos.

Just looking at the images I feel like I am looking back in time into the 1950s. It is amazing to me how closed off these people are from the rest of the world. I think things like this, images going to instagram, help breakdown that barrier one small bit at a time. It may not seem like much, but anything to help improve our understanding of these people and their way of life can only help us to work better with them.

You can find more of these great images from behind the veil on David’s Instagram page.

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[via Wired]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Black Z Eddie

    I’m amazed he was afforded pretty much free reign to take photos.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I am as well, its partly what makes these images so special -even if they seem pretty mundane by most of the worlds standards.

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  2. Tom

    awesome, I love to hear things bout N-Korea :)

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