UnderCover: Iconic images from the Egyptian Revolution

Monday, February 14, 2011

Iconic images from the Egyptian Revolution

Movements of resistance, rebellion, revolt and revolution have always been rich in symbols that unite and propel—from the raised fist to the hammer and sickle, from burning flags to placing flowers in guns. The recent Egyptian revolution is no different.

Below are some of the symbols that were employed and remixed by protesters in sometimes incongruous ways. It's interesting, for instance, that the Sphinx (erected by and made to resemble the pharaohs) is used as a neutral symbol of Egypt while the pharaoh's headdress is used as a negative representation of tyranny; and that Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara is exalted as a symbol of resistance alongside (presumably more pro-capitalist/pro-Western) logos for social media companies.

Also remarkable is the way protesters employed Shepard Fairey's tri-color poster style (made famous during Obama's 2008 election campaign) both to criticize the Obama administration for not backing the protesters during the conflict and to elevate a moment of jubilation into an iconic image.

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