About the Author
About Simon Cockerell. Based in Beijing, Simon Cockerell has made over 170 trips to the DPRK and has worked on a vast range of film, book, photography, humanitarian, and school exchange projects. His company, Koryo Tours, promotes interaction between North Koreans and people from the outside world as a way of counteracting official narratives inside North Korea of what foreigners are like, as well as how the 25 million people of North Korea are perceived in the rest of the world.
Read an Excerpt
From Foreword. Ever since the first of my many professional and personal visits to North Korea, I’m sure I have not passed a single day without observing photos of the country — photos online, photos taken by me, photos on Instagram, in the media, in books and magazines, websites and on blogs. In the work of Austin Andrews though, I find something new, something unique, and something incredibly exciting. In his photographs we are shown real life contrasts. We see North Korea’s rural population living unenviable existences in very difficult situations contrasted with the lives of some people of Pyongyang enjoying activities and opportunities afforded to the capital’s residents. The photos prove that while North Koreans are often thought of as a lumpen ‘they’, the reality is that there is a range of life experiences lived across the land. Many of these experiences are sad, dark, and not one you would wish to share, while others are optimistic, passionate, and aspirational. … Overall, Austin has expressed a remarkable variety within North Korea — his pictures taking you into the cities, out through the country, to some expected sites but many unexpected ones too. His photos show massive political monuments, simple rustic villages, people having fun, people looking troubled, people getting on with life, people taking a moment …. Whether you have been there or not, intend to go there or not, or simply are not sure, this book will provide you with some amazing insight from a truly talented and remarkable artist. For more than 6,000 days now I have seen North Korea photos daily, but Austin Andrews’ photos speak to me about the country that I know myself. So immerse yourself in this work and I hope you get as much enjoyment from them as I have. — Simon Cockerell