Monday, September 7, 2009

There were a lot of important images produced in the coverage of the December 2008 riots in Greece. The most insightful were by Yiorgos Karahalis, a photographer for the Reuters news agency.

There's the famous hand dripping blood, but the one that's struck me the most is this one. Struck is the right word -- striking, like the piece of wood in the protester's hand. It's not the figures, but the empty space that makes this image. Other pictures from the riots give us massed forces, or people alone amidst fires and wreckage. Here, we see two willing combatants, and we remember that the "society" an individual struggles against isn't some faceless mass -- it's always individuals against individuals. The society is just an idea. As narcotic as the concept of ideologies battling each other is, it's not real. There is no "police" -- only policemen.

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