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20 Photos of North Korea That Got a Photographer Banned from the Nation

©Eric Lafforgue

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North Korea remains one of the most isolated and secretive places on the planet. Not much is known about daily life in the country, but photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea six times between 2008 and 2012 and managed to take many snapshots of everyday people and their activities. Some of Lafforgue’s photos depicted life in the country in a negative light, and he was banned from North Korea after he refused to delete the photos from the Internet.

Take a look at Lafforgue’s photos to get a glimpse at an authoritarian nation that does everything in its power to keep outsiders from learning about and portraying life there, and keep the insiders from looking out.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

This photo is banned in North Korea because it’s illegal to take photos of soldiers. It’s also unique because people do not usually express their feelings in public there.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

The children in this photo look malnourished and exhausted due to the lack of food in North Korea.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

Only three subway stations in Pyongyang are open to foreigners.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

It’s illegal to take photos of houses, and you’ll also notice there are no curtains because people can’t afford them.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

It is illegal to photograph statues of North Korean leaders from behind or to show their backs. It’s also forbidden to photograph these statues if shadows are on them.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

The age, rust, and decay shown on this tram make this photo illegal as well. Many areas of North Korea have no public transportation at all.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

Long lines are a normal sight in North Korea for trains, fuel, and just about everything else due to a lack of goods.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

Most North Koreans are fearful of foreigners and do not like to have their photos taken.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

Like all plants in North Korea, it is illegal to photograph this chemical factory.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

This seems like a rehearsed scene with actors. Look closely and you’ll notice the woman covering one eye has her other eye closed as well.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

All children must work in North Korea, and they are used as free labor.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

Soldiers pluck grass to make a lawn look more attractive. Regular North Koreans also pluck grass to eat because of a lack of food.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

Fuel shortages mean a lot of cars run out of gas outside of Pyongyang.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

The obvious poverty depicted in this photo caused a guide to take the photographer’s camera.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

Power outages are common in North Korea because the entire country only has a few power stations.

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue 

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Photo Credit: Flickr,Eric Lafforgue

h/t: Bright Side