Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick Read: Muslimah Media Watch on Neda and the Media

Take a minute to read this really great post by Fatemah at Muslimah Media Watch on the media's use of Neda Agha-Soltani's image after her death:
Aside from the talk that she is a martyr for Iran’s opposition movement, many in the West are using her death to educate themselves about Iran’s current crisis, viewing Iran through a lens of violence and cruelty, which many add to their current knowledge of the country as repressive, backward, and unsafe for Americans. Neda’s death may help Iranians band closer together and become stronger in their fight for a government that treats them with respect, but here in the West, her lifeless body is little more than another reminder of the instability and danger of “over there”.

What difference has her death made here in the West? As far as I can tell, the only Western response to her death (aside from the gruesome fact that her last moments are a now common fixture on blogs and news sites) has been a website,, where mourners can leave messages to a Neda who cannot read them. Below the site’s banner is a stylized rendering of her lifeless face amid a river of blood, shown above left.

The cruelty and horror of Neda’s death may be a call to action, but her death mask shouldn’t.

You can find it here.


INTPanentheist said...

This whole thing makes me think about this song:

Lyrics here:

I think it's a brilliant statement about our culture, and I think it's a concise explanation of why the West is so very obsessed with this image. It's tragic, and harrowing, and I don't need to watch someone die to know that people are dying, any more than I need to see pictures of our troops raping women to know that they are doing it.

Amelia said...

Tool is one of my favorite bands. Was surprised to see them referenced here, although I think the connection is definitely there…especially now that you mentioned it.