Founded in 1980 in former Yugoslavia, Slovenia’s best-known music export frequently courts controversy with its deliberately ambiguous use of political and nationalist imagery.
The performance dates, 19 and 20 August, coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonization.
“Since the Kim Jong-un regime began in 2010, North Korea’s marketization and private economy have been expanded”.
While some accuse the rockers of being fascist, others argue that their work is a critique of totalitarian ideology.
In an interview with the BBC, concert organizer Morten Traavik explained why the band felt tied to the country.
Slovenian industrial electro-rock act Laibach is taking the road less traveled…to North Korea. “The truth is that both are misunderstood”, he said. The candidate from South Korea could be the FKI, he said, and in the North, the DPRK Economic Development Commission. “It is one thing to get a one-off gig; it is another degree of difficulty entirely to maintain one’s contacts in a highly sensitive country where phone calls and e-mails are rarely returned and to be able to open doors for more musical groups”, Cathcart said.
Lee Sang-min of Seoul’s Unification Ministry and his North Korea counterpart, Pak Chol Su, began the meeting on a cordial note, South Korean newspaper Maeil Business reported.
Seoul claimed that its battleship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack, but Pyongyang has repeatedly denied its involvement. “I have informed the North Korean authorities of their bad boy reputation and reassured them that it is a reputation that can very easily be disproved of”, he is quoted as saying.
“North Korea is, the way we see it, the utopian experiment… and we always felt really good in any kind of utopia”, Laibach frontman Ivan “Jani” Novak told AFP. July 11 marked the seventh year since tourism to the scenic mountain was suspended after a South Korean tourist was killed by a North Korean soldier in July 2007.
“In August 2015, Laibach will become the first ever band of its kind to perform in the secretive country of North Korea, a reclusive garrison state as well-known for its military marches, mass gymnastics and hymns to the Great Leader, as for its defiant resistance to Western popular culture”, Mute said in a statement.