Magical Alice

posted by Bridget on 10 September 2014

Another highlight from this year's Rencontres D'Arles was meeting Alice Wielinga and discussing her work North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality.

North Korea 1

Mixing fact and fiction seemed to be a theme for a lot of the work I saw in Arles. What is so enchanting about Alice's work is its fairy tale simplicity. Fairy tales all have a moral element, where good strives over evil and children are terrified into better behaviour especially in the Grim brothers' tales.

North Korea 2

Alice is telling us a fairy tale but in her narrative there is no happy ending, no prince to rescue the princess from an eternity of sleep, or years of drudgery. Instead happiness is only found in the propaganda posters, unrealised when set against the reality as witnessed by Alice as she travelled around North Korea.

So a fairy tale in reverse, where the promise of a better life makes the children of North Korea behave themselves?

Alice was the deserved winner of the Rencontres D'Arles Photofolio Review Award and her work North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Realitywill be exhibited at the festival in 2015.

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