Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Is God Misogynist? | Abbas

with 2 comments

In 1985, the Catholic Church started World Youth Day, a biannual/triannual event where young believers celebrate their faith. In August 1997, such event was held in Paris where  Magnum’s Abbas photographed three women praying in the street.

Three years later, the magazine L’Express used the photograph in an article entitled «Dieu est-il misogyne?» (“Is God misogynist?”). The article denounced «offenses faites aux femmes au nom de Dieu» (“Offenses done to women in the name of God”), by all three major religions. (Full Article Here).

Two of the three women in the photo sued the magazine for the breach of their reputation and privacy. They claimed that their reputation was “violated” and they suffered “moral and emotional damage”. The complainants claimed that when they knelt on the Place Dauphine, it was a public demonstration of their faith.

L’Express and Magnum countersued, with the support of Association Nationale des Journalistes, Reporters, Photographes et Cinéastes (National Association of Journalists, Reporters, Photographers, and Filmmakers or ANJRPC). Their demand was a symbolic euro in damages for abusive use of the law. Melodramatically, the magazine told the court, “You have in your hands the future of photojournalism.”

The photo opened a debate over whether photographers and journalists need to seek the agreement of all the people photographed in a public place, and in 2002, the court ruled in favor of freedom of expression, while sanctioning the magazine for using the photo out of context. This solomonic ruling reaffirmed the right to publish a photograph taken without the consent of the people at a public event.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

September 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm

2 Responses

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  1. My Dear Comrades,

    Well…this here is mostly about them Frenchies not knowin their own people.
    Them French are always doin this sort O’ thing.

    I was there when they had this same event in Italy an the police were actually tellin the photographers not to take pictures cause folks that look at them would think that cause they were on their knees (cryin and all) that they must have committed horrible crimes and what-not, (Hell, the neighbors of them poor girls might have thought they was repentant whores or somethin!).

    So I agree that though its in a public place that these photogs should be sensitive an not publish without at least rememberin that the rules change from culture to culture.

    Hell, if somebody is Repentin their sins, why punish them by plasterin it all over the news? But as far as makin it a law not to do it?……Well, as far as Im concerned, the Jury is still out on that one…

    Your Obt. Svt.
    Col. Korn,
    Chief O’ Mayhem During the Great WW-2 an the Cold War,
    Now Chief O’ Sanitation an Security an the Complaint Dept.,
    OXOjamm Studios.

    Col. Korn

    September 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm

  2. repent, repent…but do it in private?

    Mary Lupin

    September 20, 2011 at 1:28 am


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