Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
June 8, 2009

Campaign Update: The Youth Of Iran

Ahmadinejad poster.jpg
If you’re following the photo coverage of the tense and emotional Iranian election, the difference between “the Ahmadinejad-” and “Mousavi images” are fascinating for the separate minds.
The poster above is being held up by a supporter of the moderate Mirhossein Mousavi, Ahmadinejad’s main competitor. (We know that because the wrist sports a green ribbon, a signature of the Mousavi campaign.) I’m not sure how much cultural meaning I’m missing due to the characters and the flags, but the main twist involves the text at the bottom which, according to the Reuters caption, reads: “Dear father and mother choose the best.”

Mousavi supporters dance.jpg
I would contrast the childlike poster infantilizing the population with the flood of sensate images of support for Mousavi.
This and like photos represent not just a secular versus fundamentalist split (that has suddenly burst into the open), but the “language” of real, “fundamentally repressed” and truly animated youth starving for self-expression.

(image 1: Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters. Tehran, June 6, 2009. image 2:Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images. Northern Tehran. June 5, 2009)

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