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The Unsettling Order Of North Korea

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Named by the most popular Korean national song, Philippe Chancel‘s photography series ‘Arirang‘ shows the unsettling perfection of North Korea’s mass dance performances.

Chancel, who first created a series showing the daily life of North Korea’s citizens almost a decade ago, shows a quite different perspective in his new project. Known for their impeccable choreography, North Korean national mass performances usually honor the country and its leader. In ‘Arirang’, the show is captured through a single frame in different moments of the ceremony, showing a mosaic of same-dressed dancers and gaudy scenography. Although the chromatic combinations of colors and figures seems to hypnotize the viewer at first, the photographer actually brings out the disturbing reality of a regime that accepts no mistake.

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All images © Philippe Chancel