My friend Sam Gellman just got back from a trip to North Korea. His photos have created quite the flurry on the blogosphere… apparently people are quite fascinated by this secretive country. Here’s what Wired had to say about his trip.
Some of Gellman’s most popular North Korean photos are from the Mass Games, a choreographed spectacle held on special occasions with thousands of performers moving in unison to show nationalistic unity. The images capture the sheer enormity of the games along with the precisely calculated symmetry that he said is intended to promote the idea of the group over the individual.
The trip to North Korea was surprisingly simple to book. After striking out with a few agencies he found through Wikitravel, Gellman finally came across Koryo Tours out of Beijing who had him flying into North Korea just three weeks after he contacted them. After a brief orientation the morning of his travel he was off. When he landed in Pyongyang he was greeted at the airport by mandatory tour guides who doubled as handlers.
You might remember him from the shoot we did together for Rue magazine. Check out the rest of his photos. Sam actually had to email me to take down any of my posts about his work before his trip to North Korea… he was afraid that they might not have granted him entry if they knew he was such a famous photographer!