Gaza : a photo of a Palestinian compared to a work by Delacroix


The scene captured has become habitual: clashes between Palestinians and israeli soldiers at the border of the Gaza strip. But the cliché, entering, drew the attention. It was seized by the photographer Mustafa Hassouna, the Turkish agency Anadolu, during clashes on Monday in Beit Lahiya, and shows a Palestinian in the process of arming his slingshot with one hand, while he holds up a palestinian flag in the other.

The picture, issued by the agency , has become viral during the week. A teacher in a university in London Laleh Khalili, has shared the image on Tuesday evening, the day after his decision. On Thursday, the message had been shared more than 30,000 times and liked more than 80,000 times, reports the BBC. Friday, it reached more than 46,000 retweets and more than 120,000 “likes”:

The hundreds of thousands of shares will probably explain, in part, by the movement and the symbolism of the photograph. But also because its construction and the movement they show, reminiscent of a work of art become iconic: the table Liberty leading The people , by Eugène Delacroix.

Freedom leading the people was completed in 1830 by Eugène Delacroix, and represents a scene of clashes in Paris in Three Glorious days. Wikimedia Commons

We have chosen, as many internet users and the media, to place the two photos side-by-side, to emphasize the symmetry visual of the two scenes. “When a michelangelo with a camera captures David against Goliath in action”, commented a manager of a group action us in favour of the rights of the Palestinians.

The Palestinian photographed “surprised” of these shares

Al Jazeera has identified the young man photographed shirtless as Aed Abu Amro, a Palestinian man, aged 20 years. “I was surprised that the photo becomes viral,” he told the Arabic television. It says to participate in these events each week, “sometimes more”.

” READ ALSO – IN Gaza, the dispute is rooted in front of the border

“I didn’t even know that there was a photographer near me”, he says. He made it clear that he is accustomed to waving the flag at every event, hand, throwing stones at the other. He adds that it is often mocked by the other demonstrators for this reason. “If I am killed, I want to be wrapped in the same flag,” he says, claiming to participate in these gatherings in order to defend its “dignity” and “the future generation”.

other photos released by the agencies AFP and AP show the same protester, probably almost at the same time, from other angles. It can be distinguished as well in a similar position, the blur in the background on this photo:

demonstrators clashed with the israeli army, Monday, October 22, in the Gaza strip. Khalil Hamra/AP

It is also recognized his silhouette and the pink garment as it covers the hips on these other two shots of the AFP who give to see the smoke from clashes.

The same protester is photographed on October 22, during the clashes. MAHMUD HAMS/AFP MAHMUD HAMS/AFP

If the most of the internet users have pointed out the aesthetic qualities of the photo of Mustafa Hassouna and that positive feedback has accompanied these shares, criticisms have also been voiced vis-à-vis the violent act perpetuated by the stereotype. Some commentators have also pointed to a “propaganda” by the image.

Since 30 march, near the border with Israel are the theatre of a broad mobilization against the blockade imposed for more than ten years in the Gaza strip. The Palestinians are also calling for the right of return to the lands from which they were expelled or that they have shunned the creation of Israel in 1948. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by israeli fire since the beginning of these events, most along the border, and others in strikes, tanks or aviation israeli. An israeli soldier has also been killed.


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