The Middle East has been exploding in one way or another in 2011 with the latest uprising in Libya. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told that government to stop the bloodshed and the whereabouts of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi is unknown. The U.S. is planning evacuations of U.S. diplomats and it appears members of the Libyan army are defecting. This year’s revolts are historic, beginning in Tunisia, then spreading to Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, and Iran. Fueling it all are images and empassioned pleas by protestors on social media. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on NPR’s Fresh Air said he first saw the implications for Twitter in 2008 when a photographer learned that groups were notifying each other of where to meet using the micro blogging, now global communicastions outlet. Never did he imagine it would help overthrow governments. Not only could protesters tweet, they could call special phone numbers, thanks to a Google partnership, and have their voice messages turned into text tweets. The world is indeed becoming a very small place. Phooto Credit AP
photo via Andrew Sullivan/The Daily Dish (The Atlantic)
So much is going on right now. Iranian brutality. Elections in Afghanistan. Scotland releasing the only convicted Lockerbie bomber. The controversy over whether Michelle Obama should wear shorts in 106-degree heat while on vacation at the Grand Canyon. The mind spins.
Let’s focus on Iran. Great to get the tip on this disturbing use of photographs for political gain. Thanks to L.A. photographer Keith Skelton for this item from Michael David Murphy who is blogging about Andrew Sullivan’s “Daily Dish”:
“Sullivan has done substantial work covering the protests against the election in Iran. His post “Counter-Targeting the Protestors” led to a site controlled by the Iranian government, where the regime was posting candid photographs of Mousavi supporters demonstrating in the streets, and using the site as a plea to the public to help with identifications.”
They’re available here as a zip file: Wanted.zip, or in this set Wanted in Iran on Flickr.
And speaking of photojournalists, I visited the Annenberg Space for Photography Saturday and learned that AP photographer Emilio Morenatti lost a foot on August 11, to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Videographer Andi Jatmiko, was also injured. Journalists are in danger all over the world, but they go and do and see and capture for us the horrors and magical moments they see every day—and pay a price for it.
You can see much of Morenatti’s artful work on the Denver Post site. And, of course, get to the Annenberg to see the current exhibit of the Photos of the Year International (POYi) voted on by the Missouri School of Journalism. The website has about 77 of the exhibit’s photos on view. About 45,000 pictures were submitted this year.
Tags: Afghanistan, Andi Jatmiko, Andrew Sullivan, Annenberg Space for Photography, AP, Daily Dish, Denver Post, Emilio Morenatti, Grand Canyon, Iran, Keith Skelton, Lockerbie, Michael David Murphy, Michelle Obama, Missouri School of Journalism, Mousavi, photojournalism, Photos of the Year International, Politics in Photography, POYi, protestors, Scotland | No Comments »
Thank Allah for Twitter & cell phones with cameras!
Posted by Trisha June 23, 09 12:01 AM
I saw this Twitter post, one of more than 2000, on the boston.com site when looking through coverage of the Iranian elections. It seems to sum up the power of a photograph, especially when taken during an attempted revolution. If politics is about power, then a photograph taken about the struggle for power, is at the very least an historical document. And it just may be powerful enough to change the course of history.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Images of Iran’s crackdown on street protests have “moved” President Obama, his spokesman said. What images have moved you lately? Especially images involving politics, freedom, personal expression, war? Photo sites are proliferating at an unprecedented pace. Are you overwhelmed? Excited? Can’t wait to have one of your own photos included in coverage of hot topics?
by Mario Tama (Getty Images)
What’s your definition of politics? There are five accepted definitions from Miriam-Webster, but 1 and 5 seem to be the intent of what this blog will feature:
1 a: the art or science of government
b: the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy
c: the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government
5 a: the total complex of relations between people living in society
b: relations or conduct in a particular area of experience especially as seen or dealt with from a political point of view.
We’ll talk about current and past images that represent some aspect of politics, how those images are being used, revisited, and transmitted, where they’re being sent to and seen, their impact, the process of taking them, plus give you the opportunity to post your own.
My photo of choice this week is a picture of other pictures—of Neda, the woman protestor killed in Iran—on display at an Amnesty International protest in New York. Doesn’t that capture the global nature of the power of photography?