"And This Is Our Minder"

To Noah Lang, the Cold War seems almost quaint, compared to the War on Terror. “When I was growing up, the Soviet Union was the evil empire,” he says. “When you crossed the border, you were really behind enemy lines. At this point, the political climate feels almost like abstract expressionism.” Except, perhaps, in North Korea, which holds the world’s lowest ranking on the democracy index, as well as a 99 percent literacy rate. “It’s never black and white,” says Lang, who has relished peeking behind Iron Curtains since his first adventure in East Berlin as a high school student. “You have to see things with your own eyes.” For Noah and his wife, Kris, that meant a honeymoon in Pyongyang — a perfect bookend to their first date, which was spent viewing a documentary about North Korean acrobats. Two years ago, while attending the Olympics in China, the newlyweds slipped over the border for North Korea’s famed Masked Games. Although they were never allowed to roam freely — all visitors are relegated to an island hotel, except when under the watchful eye of official tourist minders — the couple took enough pictures to give us a good look at North Korea’s showcase city in the exhibit “Honeymoon in Pyongyang.” It’s lickably clean, and utterly enamored of Kim Il-sung, the country’s elected eternal leader, dead some 16 years. Electric Works partners Noah and Kris provide lively commentary to their pictures tonight.
Wed., March 24, 7 p.m., 2010

 
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