Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A picture that can devastate lives

Yesterday two images were published on this blog.
And holy cow, what a stir these images made!

Several responses were the result.
Comments now published next to the posting.
But also personal e-mails.

Most comments were about the second picture.
Two young ladies kissing and caressing each other.
That was offending several fervent and loyal blog readers.
Who were from Canada and the USA only.
Where we find societies that get terribly upset if even a female breast is shown on TV.
While the European messages acknowledged the image of the two young ladies was beautiful and charming but not having the mystery of the picture from Iran.

Most remarkable though is the fact that all respondents missed one most important issue.
The picture from Iran is a photojournalistic image.
Made by a photojournalist from Italy who works for a Western news agency.
He went to Iran because there were demonstrations by the opponents of the Iranian Islamic regime.
One of the ways of demonstrating in Tehran was that people would go at night on their rooftops and bang on kitchenware.
Make a lot of noise and shout slogans against the Islamic regime.
The picture by Pietro Masturzo is about this.
We see women on a rooftop in Tehran, Iran demonstrating.

This picture is always used in that context.
A political one.
Used as an illustration when it was reported that people were demonstrating against the Islamic regime in Iran.

And still, now that this image was awarded the highest prize in photojournalism, it goes around the world in that context of illustrating uprising in Iran.

We know that the Islamic regime is suppressing their opponents in a most active and cruel way.
Many opponents are in prison and it is known they do torture there.

We can be sure that the Iranian authorities will be far from happy the picture from the women on the rooftop protesting is getting so much attention.
It is bad propaganda for the Iranian regime.
And it motivates their opponents.

It will be easy for the Iranian authorities to find out where exactly are those Tehran rooftops shown in the World Press Photo winning image.
And next, it will be easy to find out who exactly are those protesting women on the rooftop.
Has there been any concern by anybody for what can happen to these women?
By the photographer Pietro Masturzo?
By World Press Photo?
Has nobody ever thought that those women might be arrested soon, disappear into prison and who knows what happens there?
Has nobody ever realized that the lives of these women, and their families, can be devastated and ruined because of this picture?


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