Art and Performance

Benoit Symposium: From Pyongyang to Mars: Sci-fi, Genre, and Literary Value in North Korea

By | September 25, 2013

History and the past are subjects close to North Korea’s institutional and cultural heart, but what about cultural expressions of the potential future. In this essay, Benoit Berthelier explores the science fiction output of Pyongyang.

Benoit Symposium: Practice and Praxis of Cultural Production in North Korea: A Virtual Symposium on Production, Authorship, and Tone

By | September 25, 2013

A scholar at INALCO (Institute National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales) in Paris, Benoit Berthelier has joined Dr. Robert Winstanley-Chesters to co-edit an expansive virtual symposium on aesthetic and cultural production in North Korea. To start things off, Berthelier offers an opening salvo in what promises to be a splendid ride.

“Still Quite Fun To Read:” An Introduction to North Korean Children’s Literature

By | September 17, 2013

Drawing from his own research on contemporary conceptions and experiences of childhood in North Korea, Christopher Richardson paints a primer on the content and significance of children’s literature in the DPRK.

Mass Games for a Mass Audience: Another Sign of Cultural Diplomacy?

By | July 25, 2013

With Seoul and Pyongyang both set to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, English- and Korean-language media pick up on different points of a similar theme. Is the DPRK reaching out to foreign audiences for its “Victory Day”?

The Korean Wave’s Northern Undertow: Cultural Hybridity and the Moranbong Band

By | June 25, 2013

Sherri L. Ter Molen examines the potential for the Moranbong Band, the North Korean all-girl musical performance group formed in 2012, to increase DPRK soft power by appealing to foreign audiences.

“Be Prepared!” Reflections On The North Korean Children’s Union

By | June 13, 2013

Looking at the structure, ritual, and uniforms at last week’s congress for the Korean Children’s Union (KCU), Christopher Richardson, doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney, delves into the renewed significance of the Children’s Union just as the nation marches onward in the second year under the young leader.

Eternal Recurrence: North Korean Iconography

By | May 21, 2013

Highlighting continuities and nuclear disjunctures in North Korean depictions of the Kim family, Adam Cathcart glosses a Heonik Kwon essay and tags the Mansudae Art Studios.

Packaged and Controlled by the Masculine State: Moranbong Band and Gender in New Chosun-Style Performance

By and | May 03, 2013

Darcie Draudt and Jimin Lee provide analysis of the Moranbong Band, plowing into the debate over gender, reform, and the future of North Korea.

Moranbong Band: Joseon Style Electronic Music on a New Level

By | April 08, 2013

Sino-NK’s Performing Arts Analyst Jimin Lee examines the Moranbong Band’s debut “Demonstration Concert” through the lens of its own name—that is, as a demonstration of its potential to act as bridge to the world with its “New Joseon Style” of pop musical performance.