The 2 Koreas in 12 Compelling photos
German photo-engineer Dieter Leistner has piqued his curiousity on the two estranged nation joint under one name – KOREA. Luck as he may call it, he was given a rare green light to wander around and photograph public spaces in the less-travelled Pyongyang in North Korea.
In his quixotic quest to unearth the compelling differences between the rival sisters, Leistner( who is also a professor) has recently trailed the pro-tourist district of Seoul in South Korea. There, he digged twin-like spots in parallel to that of the North which reveals the contrasting images & feel from the more lenient South. His chronicle wherein the world critics raved as both poignant and enigmatic were vividly captured through the power of his lense as well as imagination. His work of arts were soon published in his photo-project book “Korea—Korea”. The same went viral, printed and were mounted larger than life in free walls of international exhibitions. Thus, his stark photos bore witness to the pain the long political divide inflicted upon the erring Koreas when the peninsula was divided into Communist North and the pro-American South at the end of World War II in the fateful year of 1945. The two, in the common knowledge of not so many, have differed greatly in orientation, ethics and ideologies.
Being a German, his sojourn to the two Koreas has taken him a trip down memory lane. Both Germans and Koreans endured the same fate of surviving in a separated land of tragic destinies. Germany was once separated into East and West, so as Korea into North and South. The countries’ split-up similarities —the re-structuring of its citizens to genders, skills & ages, the tearing apart of war-torn families who lose contact with one another, the ordeal of those who were locked in the military camp and those who attempted to cross the red border (the infamous 38th parallel) make it almost impossible for a German like him to set foot to Korea’s then blood-stained soil w/o contemplating of his own country’s fair share of harrowing experiences many moons ago.
A Trendy Bus Station in Seoul, South Korea