The fascinating emptiness of North Korea’s public spaces

Sociological Images brought to my attention this excellent Life.com photojournalism looking at North Korea’s public spaces.  Beyond the typical political propaganda, the cities are virtually devoid of any advertisements, due to all media being centralized under the state.  On the one hand, the photos illustrate the emptiness, blandness, and complete orderliness of the authoritarian state; on the other, the absence of crowded advertising and flashy signs give the public spaces an openness – perhaps a calmness – often lacking in post-industrial, capitalist urban environments.

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