August 1, 2013

Everywhere and Nowhere: Egypt President's Ubiquitous "Disappearance"

Hello, I must be going?

“Repression” is one of the more interesting psychological defense mechanisms because, as much as one tries to hide or bury something one is conflicted over, that thing always manages to surface in some other form or way. Perhaps the strangest plot element and visual phenomenon of the Egyptian overthrow is the public erasure of President Morsi — the physical version, that is. Otherwise, Morsi’s presence has been ubiquitous on posters and banners and as a paper cut out or floating head in Egyptian Islamist demonstrations as he’s passed into this liminal state.

This photo is fascinating for the way this man’s full head — and brain, particularly — is obscured, as if in deference to or actually channeling his absent leader.

Is there is a better, if more innocuous photo that exemplifies the slogan/sentiment that “we are all Morsi.”

A kiss is just a kiss?

I don’t remember such an overt media example of someone or thing being there-but-not-there (although Snowden is runnig a fair second). Also the metaphors the news photos suggest are barely abstract. Everywhere and nowhere. Larger than life. Forget elephants though, those unselfconscious generals seem to lack any mind for the President in the corner.

No wonder, though, the the Egyptian military intend to ban Brotherhood protests altogether given the wall-to-wall Morsi activating the Islamist demonstrations, not to mention, flooding the quirky- and conflict-loving Western photo newswires.

(photo 1: — credit behind paywall. photo 2: AP. photo 3: Ed Giles/Getty Images. caption: Masks of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi lie on the ground during a demonstration in support at the Rabaa al-Adweya mosque in Cairo. photo 4: Hussein Malla/Associated Press. caption: A supporter of Egypt’s ousted president Mohammed Morsi, left, kisses his friend with Morsi’s mask during a demonstration in Cairo on Friday. Thousands of supporters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood group rallied in a Cairo city square, waving pictures of the ousted president and chanting anti-military slogans.)

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Michael Shaw
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