24.12.11

Kim Jong-Il's Virgin Town


Among the many stories coming out about Kim Jong-il, the one that has fascinated me is about how he built an entire city in the 1950s. Kijong-Dong was designed only for propaganda. No one lived there. Ever. Of course, the North Korean government said it had some 200 families, but they were invisible. Lights are switched on and off at set timings; caretakers clean the place. And then back to nothing.

It makes me wonder:

If no one lived there, no one thrived or enjoyed the facilities – and there were many – then what was the use of such propaganda? Does it even qualify as propaganda? What is ideal about a place that no one experiences? Or is that what makes it ideal – being untouched?

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