PetaPixel

Explore Pyongyang North Korea Like Never Before in Mind-Bending ‘Flow-Motion’ Hyperlapse

The ‘Enter Pyongyang‘ flow-motion hyperlapse by JT Singh and Rob Whitworth debuted to the public two hours ago as of this writing, and already it has over 3,500 upvotes on Reddit and almost half a million views… ON VIMEO!

But one look at the hyperlapse and you’ll understand why. Done in the same style as Whitworth’s jaw-dropping Barcelona time-lapse this is these are the kind of status quo-shattering creations that genres like time-lapse ache for.

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A closed off city that is finally beginning to open to the modern-day, it was this ‘blooming’ that Whitworth and Singh sought to capture:

North Korea was the last country seemingly immune to change—but no longer. Recent years have witnessed mobile phone penetration, a surge in tourists, and even a marathon. Numerous special economic zones have been launched in cooperation with China, Russia, and South Korea, with railways planned linking all countries in the region. “Enter Pyongyang” captures not just the city, but this dynamism and sense of potential.

And if dynamism was what they were going for, well, they certainly picked the right genre and the right man for the job. We called Rob Whitworth’s Barcelona time-lapse jaw-dropping when we posted it, and it wasn’t because we were going for click bait. Jaws actually dropped to see his ‘flow-motion’ concept in action.

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In the video’s description, Singh and Whitworth reveal that they had somewhat unfettered access to the country. Outside of construction sites and military personnel, they were able to shoot wherever they liked.

That allowed them, in the end, to achieve their goal: to blow past the stereotypes surrounding Pyongyang and its people.

“This video is the single most significant multi-­media contribution to transcending clichés about North Korea as a society defined by reclusiveness and destitution,” writes Dr. Parag Khanna in his forward to the video. “To travel there is to witness a proud civilization, though one caught in a Cold War time-warp.”

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But enough talk. To see the awesome creation for yourself, click play at the top. And if you’d like to learn more or read Singh and Whitworth‘s answers to some of the most common questions they get about the project, head over to the Vimeo description by clicking here.


Image credits: Photographs by Rob Whitworth and used with permission


 
  • João Paulo Barcelos

    Dr Parag is not exagerating when he says “This video is the single most significant multi-­media contribution to transcending clichés about North Korea”. I consider myself a relatively open-minded guy and I was shocked on how “just like us” everyone seems. Great work. Not only for the esthetics, but for the political/humanitarian message that, in the end, they are just like the rest of us.

  • Kristian H. Nielsen

    I actually think this video is scary in a way. There is a lot of beauty in this video but underneath it all, you have a people who is at the mercy of one of the most oppressive regimes in the world.

  • Sarah

    I can’t help but feel this is just propaganda for Kim Jong Un. Look how modern and sophisticated we are – we have public transport, people using computers in offices, big plazas and high rises! But look at the streets – they’re practically empty. Can you think of any other capital city where everyone just quietly walks for the tube train, or can walk across central squares with barely another soul around? Apart from the skate park everything looked sterile and there were guards in many of the shots – everyone’s being watched all the time.

  • Charles Gedeon

    That was amazing! Really enjoyed seeing how many things are common between North Korea and the rest of the world. The effects of the video are simply gorgeous. I can’t even imagine how they must have achieved this look. Wonderful stuff!

  • Mangoworm

    One can only hope that this video opens the eyes of the West to the glorious possibilities of People’s Revolution and Juche. Clearly the sky is the limit when the government works for the People.

  • cirrostratus

    Where are all the people? I would expect to see 10x that many people in those areas, but I don’t.

  • Ramsey Hong

    Seriously?

  • Steven William Blackwood

    I think he was joking!

  • Toby Hawkins

    Nice video, although they missed out the labour camps!

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    I don’t know, I feel dirty for even watching this, and for the fact that Singh and Whitworth were paid to do this and we’re all supposed to say “wow look at NK, it’s nothing like I imagined”, yeah, well, they’re not going to let you hyperlapse their death camps, are they?

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    Where’s Dennis Rodman?

  • metroeco

    Traffic jams signal a backwards nation that has not figured out how to transport masses intelligently. Pyongyang’s reliance on transit is progressive in this regard. The wealth of the capital seems however to be built on rural poverty and slave labor camps. My news about North Korea relies on corporate media, so I keep my mind open. As to urban sterility and menacing cops, look no farther than Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

  • Kynikos

    Kim Jong-Un is going to be seriously pissed off when he sees that these two humps Whitworth and Singh are trying to claim credit for something he shot/edited on his own lunch break last Tuesday.

    Off to the labour camp with those two.

  • Kynikos

    Slave labour camps.

  • Guest

    Great video.

    North Korea looks like one depressing place to live.

  • James Tarry

    Thats great, I didn’t turn off after 1 minute for once! Even if, like on his Barcelona one, Im not a fan of the visual looking/rendering, technically its impressive as heck…

  • Kristian H. Nielsen

    In North Korea only the political elite can own or lease cars, so that is why there is very little traffic. This is combined with strict constraints on fuel. I can’t see how it’s progressive to make private car ownership impossible through oppression.

  • Warren Lauzon

    Nothing new in this video that I have not seen a dozen time in other videos, with the exception of the time lapse. Same places, same subway, same streets, same monuments as a hundred other videos. Problem is, you can only see or shoot what they allow – when I see videos of areas outside Pyongyang and not guided by the ever-present minders I will be impressed.

  • Warren Lauzon

    And considering that tourists only see the absolute best parts, it gets even more depressing.

  • Warren Lauzon

    What bothers me about it is that they seem to have bought into the propaganda about cell phones, economic zones, and other stuff. They obviously did no real research on North Korea. For example they failed to mentioned that of all those economic zones, every one has failed to interest anyone because there are no roads, no rail, no power, no water – just bare land that they call an SEZ.

  • Warren Lauzon

    I see the resident North Korea troll has finally showed up.

  • Warren Lauzon

    What does it show that is common besides things like the fact that everyone wears clothes and stuff?

  • Warren Lauzon

    I you look close at the computers in other photos and videos, you will even see some that don’t even have keyboards, and on some you can see they are running pirated versions of Windows 95.

  • Warren Lauzon

    99% of North Korea has no mass transit, or any transit at all but walking or bicycle. Just as a note of interest, that subway was built with Soviet money back in the early 80′s, but many of the planned stops and stations were never finished because the old USSR collapsed and stopped giving them money.

  • Don

    Leni Riefenstahl would be proud.

  • Tony Klimas

    My news about North Korean relies on going to South Korea and China and speaking to people with first hand knowledge of what happens there. It is a brutal dictatorship that enslaves it’s people and controls their every action and even thought. It is a closed off country that imprisons people for the smallest offense and turns mother against child, brother against brother and boss against employee. This country can barely clothe and feed the people and a small cadre of elites control what little wealth they have. It is an obscenity of the worst sort and my heart aches for the generations of countless people who have to live under this repressive hellish regime. Keep your mind open as you want, but don’t for a moment think there is anything okay with what is happening there. Regardless of what this highly polished propaganda video might show.

  • csmith

    newsflash we are being watched all the time here too.

  • gulfbreeze

    The people look content… in a Stepford Wives sort of way.

  • http://mikeshouts.com/ Mike Chua

    never. never. never! lol

  • http://mikeshouts.com/ Mike Chua

    unfortunately, ‘North Korea People’ doesn’t sounds as catchy as Stepford Wives. how does ‘Un-folks’ sounds? ;)

  • http://mikeshouts.com/ Mike Chua

    breathtaking as far as hyperlapse is concerned, but i’d wary about what those two have to say about the country. just enjoy the video and that’s that. propaganda no doubt, but then again, democracy also has its fair share of propaganda (*wink*), but at least, we are free to ‘expose’ the ugly sides without worrying about being send to the ‘state gym’.

  • 1000nunsandorphans

    Gloriously absent.

  • Ghassen Athmni

    Keyboards are on shelves underneath the desks

  • ZA

    I have never seen a place without dirt on the streets. Takes one back to the good days but I have no idea how it is politically…

  • Keepitreal

    I like how the official name of the country has the word “Democratic”, as if the North Korean people have a say in anything.

  • Justin Manteuffel

    Very nice, but if Singh and Whitworth were truly given “somewhat unfettered access to the country,” what I would really want to see shared is video of life outside Pyongyang. I imagine it wouldn’t look nearly as glamorous, but it might paint a truer picture of what daily life under the DPRK is really like for the majority of North Koreans.

  • freedomseaker1 .

    Someone needs to take this gook out and I do NOT mean to dinner!!!!