‘Life in the Dolphin Pool’ – an illustration of life in North Korea by Andrea Rose, 17 February 2015

Posted by: Cathy Kim  |  Posted on: March 21st, 2015

A joint event with SOAS Centre of Korean Studies was held on 17th February 2015.

Andrea Rose, Director of Visual Arts at the British Council, gave an illustrated talk on life in North Korea.

North Korea Dancer

Dancer practising before the Arirang Games

North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as it is known locally, is one of the most isolated countries in the world. Few foreigners are able to visit it and few North Koreans are able to travel abroad. Our knowledge of this singular state is therefore particularly limited, with debate often centring on the idea of North Korea as an abstract geo-political entity – as a land of incomprehensible systems and beliefs.

But North Korea is a real country of 23 million inhabitants. In 2013, Andrea Rose, was invited by the North Korean authorities to visit the country to explore the possibilities of cultural collaboration between the UK and DPRK. Much of the visit was taken up with meeting people and encouraging them to talk about their lives – fishermen, teachers, farmers, artists, train operators, generals, poets, students and footballers.

The talk focussed on the lives of those she met, and the context in which they live, with the aim of restoring some humanity to people whom the west has caricatured as little more than victims of oppression.

One Response

  1. Elizabeth Giles says:

    having visited the Above the Line exhibition at the British Council last summer I would be most interested to hear Andrea Rose’s talk.

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