Belgian photographer Eric Lafforgue travels the world and captures inspiring stories about people. In 2008, he photographed North Korea for the first time and revisited this country five more times afterward. He took photos of the lesser-known side of North Korea and managed to save the images he would otherwise be forced to delete. After the government discovered he’s been sharing the photos online, he was banned from crossing the North Korean border ever again. Still, his photos remain to witness the stories beyond the façade, and he has shared some of them with us.
As Lafforgue tells Bored Banda, he was treated like any other tourist in North Korea. They didn’t allow him to take photos of the police, the army, and some locations. “But with a 300mm zoom lens and a seat in the back of the bus I could take so many [photos]” he says.
Between 2008 and 2012, Lafforgue visited North Korea six times. After returning from his sixth trip, the government discovered that he was sharing online the photos he secretly took. The photographer says they demanded him to take the images down. He refused because he wanted to treat North Korea in his work just like he did with every other country. He wanted to show both the good and the bad sides of this country. After all, every country has them. After refusing to take the photos down, he was banned from crossing North Korean border ever again.
During his stays, Lafforgue got to meet many locals and speak to them about their lives and dreams. He says that the main thing to know is that “North Koreans are warm people, very curious about the visitors and very generous, even though most of them own nearly nothing.”
Take a look at more Lafforgue’s photos from North Korea, along with the author’s short stories about each. Make sure to follow him on Flickr and Instagram and check out his website for more stories from all over the world.
[via Bored Panda]