Photographer Eric Lafforgue is one of the very lucky few that have had a chance to see what North Korea is really like. “Since 2008, I have ventured to North Korea six times,” he said. “Thanks to digital memory cards, I was able to save photos that I was forbidden to take or was told to delete by the minders.”
He’s actually a regular Bored Panda user who is responsible for some of the most popular posts on our website, for example ‘Highway To Yell In North Korea Which I Captured During The Last Trip‘ and ‘I Introduced Polaroid To North Korea, And It Made People Open Up And Tell Their Stories.’
Lafforgue wasn’t interested in the carefully orchestrated tourist trips to the mysterious country, revealing only its facade. He wanted to go beyond that, to catch a domestic glimpse of the land and people that aren’t under the complete control of the regime. And, when Lafforgue got a rare access to the country, he did. He shot thousands of pictures, showing citizens and government officials going about their everyday lives.
After Lafforgue came back from his 6th trip to North Korea in 2012, however, the government discovered him sharing secretly taken photos online. They demanded the images deleted. He refused. They banned him from crossing North Korea’s border ever again.
“Life is brutal in many places of North Korea, far from the Western standard,” Lafforgue told Australia’s News.com.au. “Even with their hard life, they told me, with tears in their eyes, they venerate the dear leaders… even if sometimes they do not have a lot to eat.”
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