Singaporean Aran Pan is one of the only people in the world to have filmed Pyongyang, North Korea's largest (and perhaps most inaccessible) city. The video, captured via a GoPro attached to the windshield of a vehicle, is part of Pan's project "DPRK 360°," an initiative to document and reveal the people and landscapes of the secretive country.
When discussing the project's beginnings with The Huffington Post, Pan said "North Korea has always intrigued me. We know so little about what's on the ground and all the images coming out from the state seem to show little of the life inside. I wanted to find out for myself and share what I see while I'm there."
Watch Pan's video, after the break.
When Pan first received permission to carry out his project, he was surprised – based on the testimonies of other photographers, he expected the process to be more difficult and end in denial. However, the government's approval did come with some strings. When Pan recorded the video tour, he was accompanied by an assigned driver, translator, government official, and photographer.
The video "reveals wide and well-maintained roads that are largely empty of people and cars," capturing "views of the simple, symmetrical buildings we will never see the inside of, bringing a touch of loneliness and isolation to the tour." According to Pan, he was surprised by normalcy of the city and the friendliness of its people.
Despite his work being misconstrued as a platform for political debate, Pan hopes others will see what he chooses to see in North Korea – beauty. When addressing the controversy on his website, Pam is adamant about the project's true purpose – to remove fear and encourage friendships by helping people, including himself, better understand North Korea.
For more videos and images, check out the project's Facebook page.
Story via The Huffington Post