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Waiting for the Rainbow

Waiting for the Rainbow

Ten Years in North Korea

By (author) Xiomara Bender


Publishing 10th Jun 2024
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    • The series of images by award-winning photographer Xiomara Bender comes closer to the real North Korea than any other book before
    • A deep, never-before-seen insight into everyday life in North Korea
    • At last, a book that looks at the people of a country that is one thing above all: enigmatic
    Full Description

    The few countries in the world that remain so closed off that practically no one from the outside gets an insight. North Korea is certainly one of the most secluded. Ruled by the same family for generations, the dictatorship virtually prohibits any contact beyond its borders, isolating 26 million inhabitants from the rest of humanity. This is why the photo book Waiting for the Rainbow by Xiomara Bender is so valuable, as it engages with the Korean region in a deeply honest way.

    The author portrays the lives and everyday routines of the people in this country that few have the chance to know. She seeks to draw attention to the many fates and the changes of recent years, which in this strict dictatorship are only possible in subtle micro-steps. Through her photographic journey through time, her readers can witness this transformation that brings hope. People who appear more self-assured as the book progresses, smiles that turn into laughter, clothing that gradually reflects more of fashion than uniformity. All of this is shown to us by the author in emotionally resonant images.

    Bender has undertaken nine journeys to North Korea in almost ten years, bringing back this unique photo documentation. The award-winning artist aims to break through the world’s culture of wilful ignorance regarding North Korea with her work, and without reproach, direct attention to the unvarnished daily lives of the people living there and their state-orchestrated routines.

    In addition to the touching images, the author prompts reflection through many short texts, without appearing didactic. Her language is art, opening up to those who free the way.

    Text in English and German.

    About the Author

    Travel is her passion; the search for the moment she fixes with the camera. With remarkable empathy Xiomara Bender photographs people. She is unfamiliar with gimmicky staging, but respect is all the more important. The German-Swiss photographer left her home country at the age of 17 and went to India to finish her schooling in an English boarding school. She then attended the Technische Kunsthochschule in Berlin. Numerous national and international awards recognised her distinctive imagery early in her career. Xiomara Bender photographs with Leica and is a Leica ambassador.

    teNeues Books
    Publish date
    10th Jun 2024
    World excluding Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, USA & Canada
    340 mm x 275 mm
    208 Pages
    160 color
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