The colorful capital of North Korea

• The colorful capital of North Korea

Wainwright, critic of The Guardian, visited Pyongyang in late July as part of a 10-day tour to the city architecture. He found a relatively new building, bathed in bright shades. "I must say, North Korea was one of the most colorful cities in which I have ever visited - said Wainwright. - You expect the gray, crumbling dystopia 50th, but in the end you see that the city is not so gray. "

The colorful capital of North Korea

The People's Palace of study, Pyongyang, 1982.

This rainbow colors is part of a campaign of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, to make the country more attractive to tourists. He hopes to attract the capital of 2 million tourists a year by 2020. Prohibitions on visiting North Korea not, so that Wainwright has organized the trip through a travel agent in Beijing. And yet, it is not met there with open arms. His luggage was searched and a computer carefully and write down the serial number of a mobile phone.

The colorful capital of North Korea

Stadium on May Day 1989 (restored in 2014).

During the trip, the three guides was driven Wainwright and nine other tourists, including two Italian architects, Brazilian anthropologist and British politician, the city by mini-bus. They visited the major monuments and buildings that embody the strength and prosperity of North Korea. Many of them had a metaphorical form. For example, an ice rink is in the form of Pyongyang hats skater and sports hall in the street Chongchun like a pair of dumbbells. "The end of the 80th was probably the most interesting time for the architecture of North Korea. At this time there was built a very experimental building ".

The colorful capital of North Korea

The complex health and recreation, Pyongyang, 1981-86.

Prior to the construction boom in the 1980s, the North Korean architecture has undergone a series of changes. Korean War leveled much of Pyongyang to the ground, and architects trained in Russia regained the city in the spirit of the Soviet Union. Over time, Kim Jong Il began to promote the Juche - ideology of self-confidence, which gave way to a more characteristic of Korean architecture. He systematized this approach in his 1991 treatise "The Art of Architecture", which also stated that a monument or statue of the supreme leader should be central to any room. In many places, which was Wainwright, one can see signs that say how many times there have been Supreme Leader.

Wainwright suggests that this "colorful fever" started in the last decade, because the photos taken in the 1990s where the "darker"; besides, many of the buildings appear to be freshly painted. High-rise buildings and skyscrapers are growing, like mushrooms, and parts of the Soviet architecture replaced granite and shiny materials such as vinyl and plastics. All this corresponds to the request of Kim Jong-un "to turn the whole country into a socialist fairy tale", if not in the "mushroom country."

The colorful capital of North Korea

The Academy of Architecture, Pyongyang.

Before becoming a journalist, Wainwright was an architect who has always been interested in photography. In Pyongyang, he used Samsung CSC camera, because it is small and imperceptible. He was not allowed to photograph unfinished buildings or streets but take pictures in most of the places in which they were, he still managed. "I was surprised how much freedom we were given," - he says. Buildings constructed according to strict rules of the leaders, says a lot about the political climate in North Korea. There is nothing spontaneous. Everything is under control, in perfect order, decorated and polished, as if the only purpose of these buildings is posing for photos. Naturally, from this the pictures are stunning. "In such places wherever you point the camera, the photo will still be incredible," - said Wainwright.

The colorful capital of North Korea

The Hotel San Pyongyang.

The colorful capital of North Korea

The National Drama Theater, Pyongyang.

The colorful capital of North Korea

The complex health and recreation, Pyongyang, 1981-86.

The colorful capital of North Korea

May Day Stadium

The colorful capital of North Korea

Diplomatic Club, Pyongyang.

The colorful capital of North Korea

Nursery Kim Jong Suk.

The colorful capital of North Korea

The National Drama Theater

The colorful capital of North Korea The colorful capital of North Korea

May Day Stadium