Archive for the ‘Documentary- written piece’ category

Anarchist Dance

July 2, 2010

This photo was taken in December 2008, in Greece, following the police shooting of fifteen year old Alexander Grigoropoulos which sparked weeks of riots in Athens.

I wasn’t able to find out who the photographer is, but I really like the image. Presumably the subject has just thrown a projectile, but he really does appear as though he is performing a jubilant dance of defiance in the face of “the man”.  A smokey haze sits across the mid-ground, and behind, an old man watches the proceedings.

I think the image is rich in symbolism- a lone protester strikes at an enemy outside of the frame. It’s important that the protester is alone; it provides a sense that he is outnumbered & the fact that his target is unseen portrays a sense that it is something difficult to define- it’s an image that captures the hostility that the young sometimes direct towards the institutions created by earlier generations.

The technique is simple- a long lens has been used to capture this image, which is evident from the compression of the space between the subject and the background and the way the background has been thrown out of focus- a reasonably fast shutter speed has frozen the protester’s dance, though the lines of his body still portray a sense of movement.

Viewing this image, it is easy to get a sense of the exhilaration the protester must feel, anonymous behind his mask in an act of defiance