D.P.R. KOREA: THE GRAND TOUR
A hugely ambitious project, taking Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer on a 40 night tour
Photographer Carl De Keyzer was on a 40 night tour to every single one of North Korea’s provinces, making him the first Western photographer to ever do so. The photographs were for Koryo’s dedicated DPRK-travel website (koryotours.com), as well as his own portfolio. The work was shown publicly for the first time in summer 2017, at American University Museum, Washington, accompanied by his book D.P.R. Korea: Grand Tour.
Carl De Keyzer
A waitress prepares the dining hall for a meal at Kyongsang Guest House, Kyongsang, North Hamgyong Province
“We like to see DPRK as the next big enemy, if only to sell papers and media. I could be wrong of course, there is a decent amount of manipulation going on with visitors, but I would say that a lot of information is exaggerated.”
Carl De Keyzer
About the Book
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is one of the hardest places in the world to photograph. Tourists have to follow strict guidelines and photographers are not allowed to go on professional trips. Taking De Keyzer in on an approved photographic tour allowed him a unique view of almost everything there is to see as a foreign visitor to the DPRK, giving outsiders the opportunity to see the country through the lens of a globally renowned multi award-winning photographer.
With more than two decades of experience in the DPRK and trusting relationships, we were able to convince the North Koreans that this would be a worthwhile project. Because of De Keyzer’s partnership with Koryo and because both parties were upfront about the aims of the trip from the beginning, he was allowed the time and space to properly observe the places he visited.
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