The Revolution will be Flickrized

by , under Blog

I’ll go back again to the issue of photography…


I gave recently some talks about the Mahalla Uprising, among labor and progressive circles in the Bay Area, as part of the effort (tremendously helped by friends in California and NYC I’m grateful for) to spread the word about what’s going on back in Egypt among the activist circles here. I always request from the organizers of the event to bring a projector if possible, so as to play a slideshow of pix from the Mahalla Uprising as well as other photos of demos and strikes in Egypt to accompany my presentation. Why? Because again spreading the image I believe is just as important as spreading the word.

I may sound like a broken record since I already posted few times about this before, but I’ll keep stressing it: Whatever event you are holding, whatever protest you are staging, please take a digital camera with you and snap a pic or two of the event. (If you can take videos too that would be even greater). It’s important for other people around the world to “see” what you are doing with their own eyes, instead of just “hearing” or “reading” about it. People need to see with their own eyes both police brutality and social resistance.

Struggles spread by the domino effect, as Mahalla proved since December 2006, and as the Palestinian intifada proved in 2000. When a revolution (or what the Imperialists and the Arab regimes call “instability”) breaks out in one country, it hardly stays within its boundaries–and surely the coming Egyptian revolution won’t defy what has almost become a natural law in politics as proven in every single uprising in the last century. Spreading the image contributes tremendously as a catalyst in this process. A victory for the workers in one sector will inspire others within the same sector and outside to follow suit. Showing photos and videos of those victories helps in getting the message across to the workers: “They have done it over there. You can do it over here!”

Spending hours trying to convince someone with the ability of workers to self organize and bring about a smashing defeat against the state if they act collectively, could just be narrowed down to few minutes if they saw for example Nasser Nouri’s photos of the Mahalla Dec 2006 strike.

You can talk for hours about the revolutionary potential of the masses in the urban towns to overthrow their shackles of fear and confront the Mubarak’s dictatorship at times of rising social struggle, without the help of the American tanks… or you can simply show whoever you are talking with these photos from Mahalla taken last April.

Revolutionary activists involved in consciousness raising efforts, propaganda or agitation among the workers anywhere HAVE to do their best to visualize what they are talking about or arguing for. At the same time, there is an immense need for these images to reach millions of other workers and activists around the world. That could be very inspiring for the latter, as well as a catalyst to generate more support for those facing the onslaught.

If you have photos of demos, strikes, factory occupations, or whatever theme that is directly related to the social struggle in your country, please go ahead and upload them online. Don’t leave them on your hard drive.

This is the memory of the class, and we shouldn’t lose it coz the ruling classes always do their best to distort or delete it.

  1. Jack Stephens

    I will be sure to take some pics at the Nakba at the San Francisco Civic Center on Saturday. Will you be there? Also, I apologize for the piss poor picture I took of you, I have no flash.