Sunday, February 14, 2010

imposing image

Each year a competition is organized by a foundation called "World Press Photo".
Awards are given by a jury of experts to pictures that have been published in the year passed.

You will not likely find though as a price winner in the "World Press Photo"-competition the picture that stunned you so much that you saw in your local newspaper made by the press photographer of your town.
The reason is that all pictures that compete for an award of "World Press Photo" have been send in.
Great pictures that were published and were not presented to "World Press Photo", won't get a possible award.

We also must realize that many pictures that compete for an award of "World Press Photo" have not been send in by the photographers.
They are contributed by photo press agencies.
Who have commercial interests to win awards from "World Press Photo".

To make things even more cloudy, we also must realize that the jury that decides who gets an award of "World Press Photo", consists of persons that work in the field of press photography.
Persons who have friends that work for the photo press agencies and who usually know intimately many of the prominent press photographers.

"World Press Photo" is a big event.
It gets world wide attention.
Each year a book is published with the results and a show of the images is exhibited in many places worldwide.

Just last week, "World Press Photo" has decided on the awards for 2009.
This is the image that has been selected as the best picture:

If someone would not know what that picture is about, not 5 seconds of attention would be awarded to this image.
It is just rooftops at night and if one looks more carefully some women can be seen enjoying the view or taking fresh air or discussing their husbands.
However, the context is that we see women on a rooftop in Tehran, Iran supporting opposition to the Islamic regime.

Now, many fervent and loyal blog readers may say, so what?
Does that context make the picture impressive, fascinating, exciting or stunning?
Most will say, no, we are sorry but this picture is definitely not impressive, fascinating, exciting and stunning.
In fact, it is a totally boring and uninteresting picture.

But why did this picture win the award of the best press picture of the year 2009?
It is the jury, fervent and loyal blog readers.
The egos of the members of the jury who wanted to make a political statement.
Similar to the jury of the Nobel prize for peace in Oslo, Norway.
These juries use a competition to enforce political ideas on a general audience using the candidates by awarding a prize to the one through who they can promote the best their political opinion.

The Nobel prize for peace was given because the jury members want to enforce on the current US-Government a policy of peace and non-violence.
The members of the jury of "World Press Photo" would like to see the Islamic regime in Iran been overthrown by a population that will then have a Western like capitalistic and materialistic society where religion should be marginal or non-existent.

The jury of "World Press Photo" consisted of ten persons.
Nine of them from developed countries like the USA (2), Japan and Europe (4).
And only one jury member from a developing country: Saurabd Das from India.
Not one jury member from South America, the Middle East, China or from an Arab or Islamic country.
No wonder therefore the particular political implications of selecting precisely this award winning image.

Giving the award to this picture of women protesting from a roof in Tehran has as an intention to promote the Western opinion of an overthrow of the Islamic Iranian regime.
Because purely as a picture, it is of no interest or value.


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