For the eyes of the Dear Leader: Fashion and body politics in North Korean visual arts

Library of Congress John W. Cluge Center

Suk-Young Kim
June 27, 2007
12:00 noon
LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress,
10 1st Street S.E.
Washington, D.C.

This event is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

Communist regimes are often described as “drab,” but North Korea is highly fashion conscious – a place where style and politics go hand in hand. For decades, North Korea’s political leaders have been preoccupied with designing uniforms for almost every sector of society. Fashion, especially women’s fashion, is seen as a national project, meant to promote group identity and ideology. Like many authoritarian regimes, North Korean designers have been drawn to masculine, military styles that seem to embody revolutionary spirit. But women’s fashion in North Korea also openly allows for a contradictory sense of traditional femininity. This talk explores the representation of ideal body in North Korean visual media, such as theater, film, magazine illustrations, paintings and posters.

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2 Responses to “For the eyes of the Dear Leader: Fashion and body politics in North Korean visual arts”

  1. […] “Kim Jong-il used film to prove that he was the legitimate guardian of his father Kim Il-sung’s legacy,” explained Kim Suk-young (Speaking at the Library of Congress Next Week), a specialist on North Korean theater and film at the University of California-Santa Barbara. “Kim Il-sung was very keen on protecting his legacy as a national father. So Kim Jong-il in the 1970s used film to prove that he was the legitimate heir.” […]

  2. quitacet says:

    her talk today on DPRK films was interesting!