“I filmed a documentary in North Korea which made me understand things better. All the dissidents there have a tremendous will to get out but once they do, their life doesn’t get that much better. They finally get to South Korea and they realize that they don’t fit in – and it’s too late to go back. They are going to be outcasts for the rest of their life. If you are raised in North Korea, you are taught to live in a certain way, and you don’t know what to expect from life outside the border. North Koreans who have escaped to the south often become homeless because they are not used to looking for a job. The whole concept of looking for a job is not understood in their country and homeless people basically don’t exist. Everything is predetermined from the moment you are born, and adjusting to a completely different world is terrible for them.

These stories hardly make the news, because you can only understand them when you look at the individual. That way you get sad because you think, ‘That could be me’. I hope my movies can improve other people’s lives, even just a little bit.”

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This is the official wordpress blog of Humans of Rome, an effort to create a photographic census of Rome, one street portrait at a time.

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