Friday, August 20, 2004

French Photojournalism Festival to Display the Most Important Photos of the Year

A town in the South of France famous for its international photojournalism festival is going to display "the most important photos of the year", says director Jean-François Leroy. What might that be, knowing they are related to Iraq? Are they photos of reknowned photographers or young professionals? Are they combat photos from the 2003 war? Photos from the fighting against the guerillas in the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad? Pictures of daily life in the Sunni triangle or in Kurdistan? Or reminders of what Iraq was like during the time of Saddam Hussein?

Of course not! Perpignan's ode to the craft (and hardships) of the professional photographer is to display… Lynndie England et al's "torture" snapshots from Abu Ghraib.

Where are the photos of the prisoners who had their tongues cut out, Monsieur Leroy? Where are the photos of amputated arms and of those who had acid poured onto their faces? (Be they professional photos or snapshots taken by the Ba'ath party members who engaged in the torture?) Where are the photos of the torture chambers in Saddam's prisons, and of his mass graves? Where are the photos of Iraqi mothers and fathers digging up their sons' remains in the scorching desert, Monsieur Leroy? Where are the pictures of dozens and dozens of skeletons being laid out in long lines? Where are they, Monsieur Leroy? Where are they, you who speak out so eloquently against injustice… Where on the walls of your Perpignan museum will we get to see those photos?…

Click to see some pictures that will be
on display and… some that will not

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