I recently posted some North Korean photos on Facebook which I received through unofficial channels. Meaning those photos were not part of the official state media like the KCNA.
I’m excited to be seeing photos that aren’t already published on the internet. Especially since foreigners cannot currently visit due to COVID-19.
However there was an issue that was brought to my attention. I had broken a journalistic code of conduct by not clearly stating the source of these photos.
After consulting with a reporter (who has requested not to be named) on the proper course of action. I was advised to add a standard warning label to the the photos which I had obtained from my friend, the alternative North Korean source.
“Disclaimer: The following images are provided from North Korea. The content of these images are as provided and cannot be independently verified.”
Why is this particular label necessary? He explained to me that current journalism practice is that any North Korean released photos should be highlighted as such. He also explained that photos captured by any North Korean photographers are automatically cast in doubt and the general public should be warned.
It is therefore in my best interest that I should add this disclaimer to prevent my project from being mistaken for proselytizing North Korean state goals, or misleading my readers.
Because some of these photos have already caused some public distress. I have removed those offending photos from Facebook and Instagram and reposted them here, where they now include: “Disclaimer: The following images are provided from North Korea. The content of these images are as provided and cannot be independently verified.“
With that procedure finally out of the way, please enjoy the photos. Some of them are from a DPRK photographer Mr Ri, some are from other North Korean photographers I do not know.
North Korean photographers can hold many roles, from photographing tourists to print souvenir photos for sale back to tourists, to being assigned state roles to capture major events. These are images that they have captured through the course of their daily line of work. These photos may not have made the cut to be displayed as official KCNA state approved images, but to me they are all precious. I’m not bothered if people think they are tools of propaganda. I admire these images for what they are, a moment captured through the lens of a photographer.
Please enjoy the photos.
Humans of North Korea captured in 2020
Scenes From Pyongyang
Pyongyang Taedonggang Beer Festival 2020
North Korean Comedy Night Performance
In case you’re wondering why there’s a big “DPRK360” watermark on all the photos, I have found many KCNA photos that I could easily obtain for free from North Korean press releases up for sale on Shutterstock. The photos I obtained were not easy to come by so I wouldn’t be too pleased if they also wound up for sale on Shutterstock.