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July 4, 2013

Alexandria Sunset: A Metaphor

I’ve been fascinated by this Egyptian sunset that’s gone viral over the past few days. I don’t know who explained it first, but this post at WAPO “solves the mystery” of why the protest photo is so striking. It was taken/composed by Alaa El Basha, a photo instructor at Alexandria University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and is a composite of three different frames. What’s so fascinating to me is how much the heavy-handed construction of reality mirrors the radical re-engineering that has just taken place in Egypt.

..Referring to the photo and his constitution of it (pun deliberate), El Basha (in either imperfect English or in an imperfect translation) says he attempted to capture:

“… a sense of joy among protesters, ‘joy is in control of everyone,’ joy because protesters felt supported by the military “and its permanent presence in atmosphere.”

I’m assuming what he means is that people were gripped with joy, as opposed to controlled by it, and that the reference to a “permanent presence” had to do with capturing a moment so that the memory would endure.

Beyond the wish to see the current situation, the military take-over, as not just positive but etherial, seeing the military’s role framed in words of a permanent presence is also quite a twist.

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