On June 30th 2019, as Donald Trump was stepping into history as the first sitting U.S. President to set foot in North Korea, I was in the lobby of my hotel in Hamhung, receiving the news through the characteristically hyperbolic, overdramatic tone of the state television National TV anchor. The scene was surreal and fascinating. From all the North Koreans I interacted with after that improvised meeting in Panmunjom I felt the same sense of accomplishment and intense satisfaction. A sense of hope that finally, North Korea was being acknowledged and could just be on its way to making peace with the rest of the world.
This photo series produced around this symbolic date is a glimpse into the life in the DPRK in 2019. From the modern streets of Pyongyang to the collective farms of Sariwon, images of a country completely cut out from the rest of the world, stuck in between its obsession for past wars, god-like leaders and real pride and hope in the future of their country.