THE RETRO DPRK PROJECT
The Retro DPRK Project is a collection of retro images and tourist artifacts from North Korea, illuminating the era from 1945 until the fall of the Soviet Union when the DPRK was almost entirely closed to Western visitors.
Sadly, artifacts from this period are mostly lost to history.
Our project seeks to understand how North Koreans experienced the passage of time within the context of their unique historical and political narratives. We believe this imaginative leap into Korea's past helps expand our own imagination about the country and understand how the North Koreans understand themselves.
Through our archives of scanned retro images from postcards and tourist guides, we hope to add colour and depth to this lost age in North Korea--- and thus, it is further hoped, provide resources to imagine similarity and agreement across the tragic divide.
Our Retro DPRK collection is cataloged by City, Region, Year and Subject such as Architecture, Transport, Hotels, Mass Games, etc. The collection is composed of scanned North Korean tourist publications, souvenirs and artifacts collected by project curator Christopher Graper during 100 days accompanying tourists in North Korea. Images at Retro DPRK are often exclusive and published here for the first time anywhere online.
Our Then and Now series compares recent images captured on tour with retro images from the past.
Our travelogues share artifacts found on tour and tell stories about travels in the country.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
We hope to expand our collection and welcome submissions from those who visited the country during between 1945 and 1995. Email christopher [at] koryogroup.com
If the "Socialist Xanadu" has captured your imagination, we have crafted unique tour experiences to help you breathe the air of Korea's lost era. All tours are operated by Koryo Tours and are accompanied by expert Western staff including Retro DPRK curator Christopher Graper and/or Professor of Soviet Culture Daniel Levitsky.
Email us for further info christopher [at] koryogroup.com