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Image Wars

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In these transitional moments when the idea of photos being faked becomes commonplace, it is interesting to watch the trajectory in contemporary Iran. The birthplace of citizen photojournalism as a mass, political movement, Iran now is the setting for various battles over image fakery, indicating the residual power of photographs and video to sting its establishment (and to serve as a measure of hope for many of its people). After apparently tampering with a photograph of a missile test to add an extra missile in the summer of 2008 (a “fauxtograph” that was published on many newspaper front pages), and more recently being accused of adding people to a photograph to enhance the size of a pro-government crowd, now the government has arrested a number of Iranians on the charge of burning photographs of Ayatollah Khomeini, the revered leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution and father of the State. Again the government is being accused of fabricating the video–this time by reformist candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, among others. This time it is seen as a pretext for putting members of the opposition in prison.

Certainly many such manipulations have occurred in many countries. But it is particularly heartening to see, in the face of extreme repression, that these images and others are being so vociferously contested both inside and outside Iran. The problem, of course, is the diminishing numbers of pivotal images worldwide that can, or should be, believed.

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  1. [...] After Photography › Faking the Imagery http://www.pixelpress.org/afterphotography/?p=963 – view page – cached In these transitional moments when the idea of photos being faked becomes commonplace, it is interesting to watch the trajectory in contemporary Iran. [...]

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