Monday, November 19, 2007

Iconic Photo?

This photo is percolating. It's the picture of the day at Penultimos Dias. I don't know his offense or why he is naked. Little seems to be known. A few have speculated on the obvious, oversized scar on his left thigh, ascribing it to having the dogs set on him in Angola. In one sense, it doesn't matter except to highlight the message of victimization.

Imus has nothing on this one, if I understand correctly. The image of the naked black man being paraded down the street by the official hearkens back to the days when slaves were marched down to the market to be sold, symbolically linking slavery then and now and giving the lie to the supposedly egalitarian regime. One has to wonder whether they would parade a "white" man in that fashion. Then, of course, there is the all-powerful state and the vulnerable citizen, the white ruling class and the rest of society, the ruthless exercise of power and the man robbed of his dignity.

H/T Charlie Bravo

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