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Tahrir Disobedience

© Charles Thiefaine

Tarmac torn off, a charred tuk-tuk and burning tires all over the floor, this is a real theatre of war. Demonstrators and police have been clashing night and day since October the first. Each time a tear gas canister is fired, the young Baghdadis run back to adjacent streets. The young protesters, armed with slingshots and molotov cocktails, attempt to reach the Al Ahrar bridge : it is one of the routes leading to the green zone, an ultra secured district including the embassies and the country’s main institutions. Facing them, the regular authorities supported by militiamen, they are firing live bullets and are using expired and heavy gas grenades. These "skull-breaks" according to Amnesty International’s words, are responsible for most of the victims. More than 600 deaths and approximately 20 000 casualties have been reported. The many pictures of martyrs displayed in Tahrir square are another evidence.

In the series Tahrir Disobedience, Charles Thiefaine explores the ambivalent postures of the youth of Tahrir while they are tackling such violence. He tries to give a subjective answer to one inquiry : How are they investing these spaces that have become so hostile? Georges Bataille described power as "the vast movement of excessiveness". These photographs reflect the stillness and power coexisting in this new territory.

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