Bil Browning

North Korea: May His Light Shine Upon You

Filed By Bil Browning | February 11, 2012 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Damir Sagolj, North Korea, photo awards, World Press Photo

The World Press Photo awards have been announced and, as always, the photography is simply stunning. You'll have to surf over to the site to see this year's big winner, but this photo from North Korea by Damir Sagolj really resonated with me.


It's common knowledge that a lot of North Koreans don't have electricity, but this photo stands out because of the starkness punctuated only by the illuminated photo of North Korea's founder Kim Il-Sung. There aren't any lights in the windows, but the dictator's light shines upon them.

I wonder about the North Koreans sometimes. Do they know that their country is, literally, in a dark age? Is the light from a dead leader's image enough to sustain them?

Do they venerate the Kim dynasty and does the psuedo-royal family become Gods by proclaiming themselves so? Is the belief in the power of the Supreme Leader enough to lift this modern day hunger for apotheosis from a human gift to God-like demands?

When North Korea re-enters the world stage and today's fast-paced electronic whirligigs tempt them with heavenly incandescent luminosity and devilish offers from Nigerian "businessmen" who prey on the web's worshipers, will they forget about their mortal partakers of the divine nature?

Being a God must be a lonely endeavor when the darkness surrounds you and your believers walk away unsatisfied and dreaming of new gods just out of their reach and comprehension.

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