Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Shots from the Other Side

To shoot has two meanings: to use a camera and to fire a weapon. A few days ago I wrote about the use of Flickr by the Israeli Defense Forces and the relationship between evidence and testimony when it comes to the digital rhetoric of government agencies. So it was interesting today to see the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation/TURKEY's photostream and a number of images called "Israeli commandos' bloody raid on Freedom Flotilla to Gaza 31.05.2010" in the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza set. I found it particularly interesting to see a still from the same interview in both the IHH set and the IDF set, even though those posting the image represent opposing rhetorical sides. Before the ship was boarded by Israeli commandos, there are images of men fishing and babies with pacifiers. After the ship was boarded, there are a number of pictures of the wounded being treated, which included a dramatic photograph of an Israeli soldier being treated by doctors who were Palestinian sympathizers. I am struck by two other aspects of the IHH Flickr set: the quality of the photographs is often aesthetically more compelling than the IDF photos, and the IHH uses the copyright symbol, while the IDF uses a creative commons license. (You can see the official IHH website here.)

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