Hurry! (2) by Marjolein Katsma

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Share this page Photo © 2006 Marjolein Katsma | Text © 2010 Marjolein Katsma

Tags for this photograph:
corn, travel, rain, tractor, broom, trailer, farming, harvest, hurry, sack, commune, north korea, dprk, farming equipment, collective farm

North Korea, September 2006. This summer there has been heavy flooding due to heavy rains, causing flash floods, landslides, and many deaths. And a huge portion of the crops have been lost in the flooding.

While in the cities the people look healthy and well-fed (you are privileged if you can live in the city), in rural areas it’s visibly different. Farmers are scrambling not only to get their assigned crops grown – they’ve started new crops but it’s not certain it can all be harvested so late in the year – but also to grow enough food for themselves. At least the weather has been a lot better, so there’s hope the late-planted crops will succeed.

But every now and then there’s still quite a bit of rain. While we visit a communal farm (they’re producing fruit, partially for export), it’s a rainy day. They had been drying corn outside but now they’re scrambling to get it all gathered up and inside: it’s getting wet again! While our guide gets a bit nervous that we are taking pictures of them (causing us to hurry as well), the farmers are actually in so much of a hurry they barely notice us: the longer they take, the wetter the grains will be, the harder it will be to get them dry for storage again.

Fixing the tractor engine

Look at their equipment: a battered trailer, an antique tractor (it looks 1940s vintage) of which the engine was giving them grief. Coarse, hand-woven, hand-stitched sacks (it looks like they’re made of straw!), and hand-made brooms made of branches: every last grain of corn will be swept up, cause the harvest is meager. At least in the field behind them rice is growing – but that was planted late: hopefully it will give them a crop, otherwise they’ll have little food the coming winter. (At least they also have a fish farm, which is doing well.)

Photo taken in a hurry, under a dark sky, with a compact camera: not a recipe for optimal quality. I tried to capture some of the drama of their hurry by giving it a ‘dramatic’ treatment.

This photo is part of a set (see Related below). The tractor photo is for illustration since it is of too-low quality for wall art; available on request though (see under ‘Contact’).

Taken on a collective farm near Wŏnsan, North Korea 2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix F30

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Hurry (1)

Please note that ‘pinning’ of my work is NOT ALLOWED. If you do, you will be committing fraud and copyright infringement. See my full profile for more!

I have two passions: travel and photography – and these are often combined. Though even in my own city I often have a camera with me!

When I am not actually taking photographs or working on photographs, you may find me busy programming or otherwise working on my websites.

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  • Werner Padarin
    Werner Padarinalmost 5 years ago

    This work has been featured (6 May 2010)

  • Thank you very much dear guest host Werner! That’s truly an honor!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • Cat2be
    Cat2bealmost 5 years ago

    Congrats on your feature by special guest host Werner Padarin

  • Thank you very much, Kimba! I’m thrilled to see this image featured – the treatment is a bit unusual for me, and I never got any comments so far.

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • ellismorleyphto
    ellismorleyphtoalmost 5 years ago

    Congratulations! You placed in the TOP TEN in the ‘People at work – Working’ Challenge in May 2010.

    Joanne and Ellc

  • Thank you Joanne and Ellc! So nice to see this picture finally getting some recognition (even if it’s a bit unusual for me). :)

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • ellismorleyphto
    ellismorleyphtoalmost 5 years ago

    You’re welcome. It’s more than deserved and I am surprised you have not had a LOT more recognition.

    Werner’s photographs of Asia are amazing so you KNOW that it must be an awesome photograph if he chose it to be featured :-P

  • Yes, I was very pleasantly surprised this was selected by Werner – it’s a big compliment!

    – Marjolein Katsma

  • ellismorleyphto
    ellismorleyphtoover 1 year ago

    31st December 2013

    Congratulations This work has been chosen to be featured in the TTFF Annual “Festive Feature Fun” Event. You can see your work permanently displayed in this feature forum.

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