Intimate Portraits in North Korea: Frühtau’s Photos

These are photographs that you aren’t likely to see anywhere else. Widely circulated photos of North Korea tend to show us Kim Jong Un, or Kim Jong Il, some of their generals, or other highly placed people. I am staying away from those photos.

Instead, these pictures reflect something closer to ordinary faces in North Korea. You can see grandmothers, toddlers, young women chatting together, friendly tour guides. Most of the people are smiling. Understanding all of North Korea—not just its generals—is an important goal in and of itself; it’s also an important element of any dialogue that aims toward unification.

These pictures were taken by German photographer T. Mosler, who shoots photos under the Flickr alias Frühtau. He visited the DPRK three times between 2007 and 2011. He seems to have been granted unusual latitude in the scope of his camera’s exploration.

Mosler’s photos counter a mental conception of North Korea as an unimaginable, unusual, crazy place. Sometimes it is unimaginable and unusual and crazy, but it’s also familiar, normal, and sane. Most of its citizens are just ordinary people like you and me.

Mosler generously provided captions for each photo in this article.

Click on any image to see it full-size in a carousel:


One thought on “Intimate Portraits in North Korea: Frühtau’s Photos

  1. Pingback: Photo Essay: Joseph Ferris’s Snapshots of Everday Life | MOU OneKorea

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