miss dmz by julia kim smith

These photos came my way a while ago, but things got crazy (ahem, Linsane) and I didn't get a chance to share them... so here we go.

Miss DMZ is a photographic triptych by artist Julia Kim Smith, inspired by her recent visit to "the surreal political and military theater known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone." And indeed, a beauty queen standing on the Gyeongui railroad line is a very strange sight. Take a look:

Here's the artist's statement about the photos:
Inspired by her recent visit to the surreal political and military theater known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (despite its name, the DMZ is one of the most militarized and combat-ready borders in the world) and by her glimpse into the highly secretive North Korean regime, artist Julia Kim Smith creates a photographic triptych featuring Miss DMZ striking "speak no, hear no, see no evil" poses along the Gyeongui Line, the railroad line which once connected Seoul and Pyongyang. It is noteworthy that 2012 is the centennial anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea. While the official North Korean website enthuses that "In 2012 the Korean people will surely open the gates of the thriving nation."*, the people of North Korea remain among the world's poorest, with millions dying of starvation and tens of thousands imprisoned on charges of political crimes. With the recent passing of Kim Jong-Il, North Korea is an uncertain state in even more uncertain times.
For more from Julia Kim Smith, check out her website here.

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