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For the Eyes of the Dear Leader: Fashion and Body Politics in North Korean Visual Arts

Suk-Young Kim, a fellow at the John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress, presents a program that provides insight on North Korean culture, politics and the leadership of Kim Jong-il titled "For the Eyes of the Dear Leader: Fashion and Body Politics in North Korean Visual Arts." Kim explores how visual media, such as theater, film, magazine illustrations, paintings and posters represent and propagate the ideal body in North Korea. According to Kim, North Korea's political leaders have been preoccupied with how to dress people. Fashion, especially women's fashion, is seen as a national project, where beauty and politics meld to cultivate bodily discipline. As in many communist states, North Korean designers have been drawn to masculine, military styles that seem to embody revolutionary spirit. But women's fashion in North Korea also openly allows for a contradictory sense of traditional femininity.
Length: 01:16:36

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