March 3, 2012

The Abbottabad Landscape: Disappearing bin Laden

In these two photographs taken during and after last week’s demolition of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, we get another reminder of how important the visual record is when it comes to shaping public opinion. The absence of bin Laden’s lair sends a clear signal that yes, the man himself is really, truly gone. (While Pakistan gets to sweep some of its own dirt under the rug).

And as evidence that the picture really is better without bin Laden, be sure to notice other differences between the two images distributed by AP just so: while the demolition photograph features men, machines, and destruction, the ‘after’ photograph features women, children, brighter colors, and bodies in motion.

At any rate, if these two photographs provide any semblance of visual closure, it does seem fitting that “The End of Osama bin Laden” is marked by the destruction of a symbolic building from a city’s landscape, no?

— Phil Perdue

via: Charlotte Observer

(photo: Anjum Naveed/AP caption: In this combo of two pictures, on top, a Pakistani woman and children stand next to the remained boundary wall of Osama bin Laden compound, Monday, Feb 27, 2012, and, on bottom, heavy machinery demolishing main building of Osama bin Laden compound on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2012 in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities have reduced the house where Osama bin Laden lived for years before he was killed by U.S. commandos to rubble, destroying a concrete symbol of the country’s association with one of the world’s most reviled men. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

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Philip Perdue
See other posts by Philip here.

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