World Press Photo enjoys gloating over death

The most prestigious photojournalism competition in the world World Press Photo, whose 55th final was held in February of this year in Amsterdam, has awarded "Special Mention" to the still of a video capturing Muammar Gaddafi a few minutes before his death. It is gratifying to see that the West is getting more tolerant every day: they give awards for things that would have been punishable by a prison sentence earlier. I am not sure when the civilized West eliminated the law against corpse-eating and gloating over death. Apparently, this crime was secretly crossed out from the criminal codes of the democratic world. Nothing else can explain the cannibalistic cynicism with which the jury of the "the world's most prestigious exhibition" World Press Photo awarded the shot depicting the last moments of the life of Muammar Gaddafi.  

"The photo captures an historic moment, an image of a dictator and his demise that we otherwise would not have seen, had it not been photographed by a member of the public," said Aidan Sullivan, chairman of the jury in 2012. "There were no professional photographers there, and this photo had an impact. It had news value," he said.

Nina Berman, a Noor photographer and member of this year's jury, added: "There was a very strong point mentioned by a jury member during the judging process. He was saying that if we awarded anything from the public that it should be for a picture taken recently in Syria, because this is the one place where it's really hard to get pictures by professionals. But in the end it was this Gaddafi picture that came out on top, because it really is a unique moment in history - a moment when a dictator was mobbed physically by the people. That's why we chose it."

"This was an important document for posterity, for transparency, and to understand the dynamics of how Gaddafi came to his end," said jury member Renata Ferri in a statement.

In the photo, tortured, covered with blood Colonel is dragged into a car. A few minutes later he died, bringing a truly childish joy to the entire civilized world. "Wow!" - Exclaimed ecstatic Hillary Clinton when she learned the news of his death. Barack Obama, Fogh Rasmussen and other guardians of democracy of our time also rejoiced.

Obama said that this was a momentous day in the history of Libya. The death symbolized the end of Gaddafi's long, dark and brutal history. The NATO Secretary General said that finally the country left behind the 42-year-old order of fear installed by Colonel Gaddafi. He added that Libya could draw a line under the long and dark chapter of its history and open a new page and the people of Libya could really decide their fate. Libya (with the help of NATO) has decided their fate - it immerged in hell worthy of its creators.

Let us look at the jury's favorite photo and think back to the day of October 20, 2011, when the bombed Libya lost its terrible dictator. Let us remember that "we otherwise would not have seen", like Aidan Sullivan was concerned, an "historical event" depicted on the award photo meant for the "posterity".

It is not just a photo. It is a still from a video showing with the impossible, painful detail, the tortures the wounded colonel was subjected to by his old jackal-winners. They cannot be described - out of respect for the memory of Muammar Gaddafi, and for the reasons of banal censorship.

"The Algerian News Agency" Algeria-ISP "notes that at first Gaddafi was simply beaten and humiliated. But after a while the rebels began to shout "do not kill Gaddafi fast"," Let's torture him". Then one of the "revolutionaries" took a bayonet knife and began jabbing at Gaddafi. The wounded colonel's hands were held behind his back. Once the sadist has completed his work, he gave way to teenagers. Others threw sand into the wounds of Gaddafi and did other things the paper chose not to mention. According to media reports, the torture lasted from 9am to 12pm. The line of the executioners exceeded one hundred people.

I sincerely want to wish the members of the jury who decided that this shot was commendable to feel on their skin what Gaddafi felt at that moment. Every moment, the knife, the sand in the wounds, the broken joints of the hands. High quality pictures should evoke a sense of belonging, shouldn't they? Or would the viewers prefer to experience the joy of cannibalistic butchers?    

In fact, a monstrous shot should not be displayed in the exhibitions around the world, gathering enthusiastic fans, but be solely and exclusively the property of the investigators and prosecutors. In the end, it embodied loathsome punishment without trial. I remember the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno-Ocampo saying that the death of Gaddafi was one of the issues to be clarified. He spoke about the need to understand what happened, because there are serious suspicions about the fact that it was a war crime.

But who knows, maybe since then the ICC finally calmed down, and the "strong suspicion" were not confirmed.  However, there is some deep, cynical, but very sober truth in the fact that the shot is travelling the globe and everyone can look at it. This is a beautiful yet illustration aspiration of the Western democracy. This is a great introduction to the colorful history of the modern Libya. The photo is really valuable - it gives a warning. It does not let you fall asleep under the NATO sweet songs about peace, love and democracy.

Daria Sivashenkova


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov