In mid-September 2011, Sam Gellman boarded a plane and set out to visit North Korea – a country often shrouded in mystery which he’d been intensely curious about experiencing. Whilst he was there, the incredible (and infamous) North Korea Mass Games were taking place. The history of the games dates back to 1946 and are the result of thousands of hours of preparations & many many months of intense training.
To put its scale into perspective, a staggering 10,000 performers took part this year.
Interestingly enough, the incarnation of the Mass Games represents North Korea’s outlook and focus on “the group” rather than “the individual” – highlighted by the complex levels of synchronicity between each performer and the overall effect they create. As for the performers themselves, many are selected in early childhood (some even from age 6 and up) and for many, it provides them with income and a job for life – until retirement.
When it comes to North Korea (and as these truly spectacular photos by Sam Gellman highlight) – no part is greater than the whole.