North Korea has been slow to allow its residents to use the technology that defines everyday life in most of the world. Last week, the notoriously secretive country started to allow foreigners to freely use a 3G mobile network from inside North Korean borders. This means that tourists and visiting professionals alike are now Tweeting and Instagramming from Pyongyang. Locals, on the other hand, still have limited access.
The photos coming out of North Korea since the restrictions were lifted are a revealing insight into a nation that is completely unknown to most foreigners. Instagram's function as a spontaneous image sharing platform allows visitors to share their North Korean experience as it happens - presenting a raw feed of images that have not had the chance to be framed in the context of reflection.
The most notable Instagrammers in North Korea are Associated Press journalists Jean Lee and David Guttenfelder. Since news of North Korea's change of 3G policy, their Instagram accounts have been featured on NPR and promoted by Instagram in its blog. Sharing photos under the hashtags #pyongyang, #drnk, and #northkorea, the journalists have presented life inside North Korea. We rounded up 10 of our favorites from the feeds of Lee (@newsjean) and Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder).
1. Syncronized skater perform for a not-so packed arena
2. Colorful propoganda posters stand out in a grey winter
3. Traffic cop in blue and fur on a Pyongyang street
4. A newlywed couple bows to statues of late leaders
5. Babies and nurses in a hospital
6. The display of a dress shop
7. The bleak winter countryside north of Pyongyang
8. Model rockets near an escalator
9. People bring brooms to sweep monuments of leaders
10. Boys play with Guttenfeilder's camera
Mar 3, 2016
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