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Previous | Next :: Retrospective Dark Desert Highway : Border Road : New Mexico | February 17, 2011, 2:24 am

 Retrospective Dark Desert Highway : Border Road : New Mexico
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I shot this on highway 9 that runs along the US Mexican border heading West from El Paso................. I was looking most of the day out of the windscreen and into the mirror at the amazing road that stretched as far as the eye could see both forward and back seemingly without a bend ever.

Here are 'The Killers'.......... doin their cover starting........ 'On a dark desert Highway'.......... you know the one :-)) XXXX t


Harv was asking what I thought of the fact that Jodi Bieber has won the World Press Award with a portrait. I was looking again at it today.

It is kind of unusual. More normally the winning photograph will show extremes of emotion or possibly violent peaks of action. Jodi Bieber's image is a quiet portrait. But it is a deeply shocking image. A beautiful young girl has had her nose and ears cut off as punishment for running away from her forced marriage. This is as the result of Islamic Sharia law and cultural practice and concepts of honor in Afghanistan.

When I first saw it on the cover of Time...... I could have wept. This image encapsulates for me all that is often terrifying about the practice of Islam in so many parts of the world. It makes me shudder and wonder why we still have need of any organized religion of any stripe in the 21st century. Vile oppression and cruelty are always disgusting and shocking. But somehow vile oppression and violent cruelty in the name of some man made God is somehow even more disgusting. The pretense that this vileness is somehow the will of the God of these men. That this is in fact God's work. That this disgusting behavior is somehow excused and even sanctioned by God, as if these shameful acts can be justified as sacred beliefs. Wow, it really is enough to make your blood boil. Enough to make you want to shake your fist at anyone who pretends they know what God wants. Look at this picture ! Shut up! Look at this! How do you know what God wants? This is where that pretense leads! Have some humility stop making this stuff up.

Think about it. No one should act like they know what God is and what God wants. It is of course the ultimate arrogance to inflict your will and pretend it is the will of God. People brought up in terrible ignorance have at least more excuse. People living in a modern world with all the benefits of education and science really should just get real and stop giving cover to vile extremists.

In answer to your question Harv I think it is an important image speaking eloquently to a serious issue for our world. It captures the beauty, humanity and dignity of this young woman. It shocks you with the disgusting violence done to her by men who claim to own her and disgusts you that they would also claim to have some divine backing for their barbaric cruelty.

Some mighty news images catch amazing one off news incidents that will never be repeated, they certainly can have a wow factor, but I have never really been so interested in these. Some reportage images, the ones that I think are most eloquent and powerful, show a truth from ordinary life, and project that in an iconic way. I think this image does just that. Consequently, yes, I think it really is a very worthy image to win the world press award, even though clearly it does not comply with standard expectations of what a world press winning image might be.


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