Art and Performance

Kim Ki-nam: North Korea’s Orchestral Politics

By | June 27, 2014

Octogenarian propaganda doyen Kim Ki-nam has survived at the top of North Korean politics for decades. Quite apart from all the perks that tend to accrue to such people, the other thing former Rodong Sinmun editor Kim has earned from his exertions is the attention of Adam Cathcart.

A Bifurcated Review of De-bordering Korea: Tangible and Intangible Legacies of the Sunshine Policy

By | May 12, 2014

Seven full years have passed since the second and final “sunshine policy” president, the late Roh Moo-hyun, left office. Yet debate over the historic value of the decade of sunshine persists. In Sino-NK’s latest review, two members of the team look at a brand new Routledge edited volume that attempts to assess the social legacy of the era.

Yongusil 33: The Sun, the Arrow, and Benjamin Joinau

By | May 07, 2014

Benjamin Joinau’s conceptual review of mythic and monolithic city spaces of Pyongyang produces an categorical twin. Rural charisma meets urban glory in a key work of psychogeographic imagination.

Rock Gospels: Analyzing the Artistic Style of Moranbong Band

By | March 04, 2014

Has Kim Jong-un disbanded the Moranbong Band for good? Pekka Korhonen, a visiting scholar at Kyoto University, suggests this is the wrong question to ask, and delves into a trove of revealing data.

Sino-NK 2013 Rewind: Pop Politics and the Narrative of the Bizarre

By | December 20, 2013

Sherri L. Ter-Molen takes the “outside” tack on North Korean cultural production and media engagement in 2013. From Dennis Rodman to Jang Sung-taek via Angry Birds and the Samjiyon.

Sino-NK 2013 Rewind: North Korean Literature at Masik Speed

By | December 20, 2013

Benoit Berthelier examines North Korean cultural production from the “inside,” revealing literary outputs determinedly in step with current manifestations of the urgent–and of Kim Jong-un himself.

Yongusil 21: North Korean Review on the Unhasu Orchestra in Paris and the AP in Pyongyang

By | December 13, 2013

The Unhasu Orchestra has disappeared from North Korean cultural life. Adam Cathcart and Steven Denney explore that orchestra’s role (and that of the AP) in diplomacy within North Korea’s political repertoire, in a newly-published scholarly article for the North Korean Review.

Diplomatic Churning between Berlin and Pyongyang

By | October 18, 2013

The German government returns an Ambassador to Pyongyang with interests in cross-border trade in Sinuiju, North Korean succession issues, and “the liberal ’80s” in Beijing.