Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
June 24, 2010

Tear Down That Wall?

AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi

AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi

As the 2010 World Cup unfolds imagistically, many photos remind us of the potential of sport to serve as a uniting cultural force—especially since this tournament is unfolding in a post-apartheid South Africa. That makes this shot of Palestinian World Cup fans all the more ironic. A restaurant owner and soccer fan has been projecting World Cup matches onto the wall that separates the West Bank city of Bethlehem from nearby Jerusalem. To the left of the screen is the menu—written in English, which marks the space as a destination for Westerners. To the right of the screen, the word “freedom” is scrawled—reminding patrons and soccer fans that apartheid is, regrettably, not a thing of the past.

Interestingly, fans happen to be watching the match between Australia and Germany—a country all-too-familiar with dividing walls.

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