Saturday, August 05, 2006
Reading a newspaper in Tehran
FKh: Please elaborate on your criticism of the RLT cover photograph, of two veiled Iranian girls reading.
Hamid Dabashi: The cover of RLT is an iconic burglary. It photographically kidnaps two young Iranian women, while they are busy reading a newspaper, following the parliamentary election in their homeland, and thus participating in the democratic aspirations of their people, and incarcerates them inside a colonial harem. In my essay I have sought to give a pictorial genealogy of what oriental fantasies this cover invokes by this act of thievery. I very much hope people would print the cover of RLT and place it next to the picture I have unearthed and from which it is stolen, compare the two and make up their own mind about the treachery of a career opportunist neocon artist and the extent to which she and her publisher will go to misrepresent a people and deceive another.