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Visual Politics and North Korea: Seeing is Believing (Interventions) Hardcover – 23 Sep 2013
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David Shim’s book Visual Politics and North Korea is a timely and welcome intervention in the fields of International Relations, Asian Studies and Visual Culture. By taking the politics of seeing seriously, Shim reveals how North Korea’s geopolitical status as a pariah state has been visually figured, secured and reproduced. What makes this book particularly innovative is its attention to contrasting scales of visuality as Shim juxtaposes the practices of everyday photography with the asymmetries produced by satellite imagery. While Shim’s focus is on the case of North Korea, the book provides wide-ranging insights about the relationship between visuality and global politics. In that sense, Visual Politics and North Korea will be invaluable for critical scholars exploring the multiple intersections of seeing, knowing, globalization and power.
Dr. Debbie Lisle, School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast, UK.
Disciplinary differences notwithstanding, Shim has offered a nuanced, challenging and timely work on the visual politics of North Korea. In a way, the title does not do justice to the work being done the book is more about the visual politics of how the world (particularly, the United States) imagines North Korea. That is, these visual representations say much more about our desires and our ideological conditioning than it says about North Korea's desires or ideological conditioning. Thus, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of visual culture, for those in the field of Critical International Relations, and for anyone interested in North Korea's place in the world.
Terry Park, 38 North
The real value that Shim brings here is the discussion of techniques and ways in which staging take place, both in front of the camera and behind it. Shimâ€™s final conclusion is the most important element of the book: â€œvisual representations clearly address powerâ€ and this book is a useful companion piece when considering asymmetrical information and whose agenda one representation or another supports or weakens.
Virginie Grzelczyk, E-IR
For anyone interested in Korean affairs, and especially those who are planning a visit to the DPRK in the next future, this is definitely a recommended reading.
Gianluca Spezza, NKnews,org.
About the Author
David Shim, Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations and International Organization, University of Groningen
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