In the course of a long running ideological conflict North Korea is one of the most culturally isolated countries in the world, which rejects any foreign influences through a tight control of media and communication equipment. To protect the North Korean identity from potential damaging western influences, short wave radios, for example, are banned, while TV receivers are locked to tune only to the 3 official channels.

Paradoxically, with the support of pizza-loving leader Kim Jong-il, the first ever Pizzeria was opened to provide an authentic Italian experience for a minority of wealthy political elite. With the aim of challenging current cultural obstacles in North Korea, I have contacted a number of Chinese smugglers in China to distribute illegal propaganda over the border to North Korea, through the popular DVD format, since players are widely found in North Korean homes.

“Pizzas for the People” is a series of designed insertions that explores how design can playfully contribute and impact on a social and cultural level, subtly challenging an ideological status quo.

 

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