From Icon to Exile: The Price of a Nude Photo in Egypt

After the conversation in the café, Elmahdy is standing on the shore of a lake outside the Swedish village. She watches the ducks, and when she discovers a playground, she climbs onto a jungle gym and sits on a swing. The icon of the Arab Spring giggles as she swings back and forth. What was the meaning of her gaze in the photo? "It means that I am not ashamed to be proud to be the woman I am."

From now on, Elmahdy could very well change her address every few months. Fleeing from others threatens to become the focus of her life. But unlike the screaming child on the photo from Vietnam, little of Elmahdy's deed will remain in the world's collective memory. The symbolic power of the image will gradually fade away. The photo hasn't changed anything -- not Islam, not Egypt, not the city of Cairo and not even Elmahdy's parents. Before long, her naked breasts will be nothing more than naked breasts.

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...