The Face of Things to Come



Image: aly song/ reuters


Political Folly

Kijong-dong in North Korea is a shadow of a city, a façade. It sits on the border of the North and South as an apparent, living breathing example of North Korean urban contentment. However, it is empty. The homes sitting on the horizon are just a false conscious construction of habitation. There are no inhabitants, no glass in the windows, and no rooms behind the house fronts. Though the streets are empty, large speakers bounce patriotic slogans off the concrete.

Cities often slip into disintegration and abandonment because of political idealism, but rarely are they built as a ghost town. The paradox of Kijong-dong is its intangible intentions. It has been built to be spied on from across the border; it pretends to live innocently, knowing full well it serves as a folly for the South.