The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer Mihaela Noroc Provides a Rare Look at Women in North Korea

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“She was working in a hotel in Sinuiju”

Over two years ago, Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc embarked on an ambitious quest to document diverse examples of beauty around the world through stunning portraits of women from more than 37 countries. Her journey has taken her to a diverse range of lands, including Tibet, Iran, Brazil, and the US, but her latest destination is particularly noteworthy—none other than North Korea, the isolated and rarely photographed East Asian nation.

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“Uniforms are very common in North Korea”

Traveling to cities like Pyongyang, Sinuiju, and Wonsan, Noroc had the remarkable opportunity to expand her series The Atlas of Beauty to include the women of North Korea. Her subjects range from waitresses to students to factory workers, providing a unique look at some of the 24.9 million people who live in the country.

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“One of the wide boulevards of Pyongyang”

“North Korean women are not familiar with global trends, but this doesn’t mean that they are not preoccupied with their look. They are, definitely!” the photographer wrote on Bored Panda.

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“Library in Pyongyang”

“They have a passion for high heels and usually wear classic outfits, always accompanied by a pin, on the chest, representing one of the country’s leaders. During celebrations and other special occasions, they wear traditional colorful outfits.”

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“A singer before her show, in Sinuiju”

Noroc is raising funds via Indiegogo so she can continue her travels around the world until she has enough material for a book.

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“Bicycles are the most popular vehicle”

She says, “My goal is to continue and take photos of women from each country of the globe, showing that beauty is in our differences.”

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“She was working in a train”

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“On the streets of Wonsan City”

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“A waitress in Pyongyang”

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“Subway station in Pyongyang”

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“Textile factory in Pyongyang”

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“During celebration or other special occasions women wear traditional outfits”

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“Fishing is very popular in Wonsan”

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“People wear pins with the two former great leaders”

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“During the National Day huge mass dances are organized in big cities”

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“Student in Pyongyang”

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“In Sinuiju, a city bordering China”

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“Umbrellas are popular for sun blocking”

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“She was working in a hotel in Sinuiju”

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“Playing instruments is a popular activity”

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“Gates of Koryo Museum in Kaesong”

Via My Modern Met (h/t: Bored Panda)

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