The 4th Estate: Instagram photos from the Hermit Kingdom

This week we conclude our month long exploration of newsworthy images by taking a look at the people and the photos that report the news via social media. Each day, we will bring you photos and their stories that were shared on social media to inform the world.

Today, we feature David Guttenfelder, a photojournalist using the power of social media to provide the world with access to the culturally isolated country of North Korea. Guttenfelder is the Chief Photographer for the Associated Press for Asia. He is also one of the only foreign photographers allowed to work in North Korea, also known as the Hermit Kingdom for its government’s reluctance to engage in the global community. Guttenfelder has coupled his unprecedented access with social media sites like Instragram to share photos taken during his 25 trips there. Guttenfelder is accompanied by a government liaison wherever he goes which has caused him to change his approach and strategy to photography and not worry about taking the perfect shot. Instead, Guttenfelder sees his photos as puzzle pieces that when added together provide an interesting look at daily life in North Korea.

Guttenfelder was named TIME magazine’s Instagram Photographer of the Year in 2013 and has won seven World Press Photo awards throughout his career.

Below are some of Guttenfelder’s Instagram photos from North Korea.

A passing bus and sign in Pyongyang, North Kora. Credit: David Guttenfelder via Instagram

Credit: David Guttenfelder via Instagram

A passing bus and sign in Pyongyang, North Korea.

A pre-school playground set, shaped like the North Korean Unha space rocket near the city of Pyongyang. (Credit: David Guttenfelder via Instagram)

Credit: David Guttenfelder via Instagram

A pre-school playground set, shaped like the North Korean Unha space rocket near the city of Pyongyang.

Commuters in Pyongyang gather around a hanging newspaper to learn the fate of Jang Song Thaek who was executed for being a counter-revolutionary traitor. Jang Song Thaek was married to the aunt of North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-un. (Credit: David Guttenfelder via Instagram)

(Credit: David Guttenfelder via Instagram)

Commuters in Pyongyang gather around a hanging newspaper to learn the fate of Jang Song Thaek who was executed for being a counter-revolutionary traitor. Jang Song Thaek was married to the aunt of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

A display at the "Kimjongilia" and "Kimilsungia" flower exhibition in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Credit David Guttenfelder via Instagram)

Credit David Guttenfelder via Instagram

A display at the “Kimjongilia” and “Kimilsungia” flower exhibition in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Weapons are painted on the walls of a recently built pediatric hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Credit: David Guttenfelder via Instagram)

Credit: David Guttenfelder via Instagram

Weapons and military vehicles are painted on the walls of a recently built pediatric hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea.

To see more photos from North Korea and the more than 75 countries Guttenfelder has photographed follow him on Instagram @dguttenfelder.

The Collaborative Services Team

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