Guzmán Arrest | Peru

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Crude though it was, the moment above told the Peruvians that their long national nightmare was coming to an end. As police and prosecutors showed off Abimael Guzmán as their trophy, from his cage, Guzmán ranted and swore like a wounded animal. Elsewhere, his Maoist terrorist group, Sendero Luminoso (“Shining Path”) unraveled.

Sendero was perhaps the strangest and the most radical leftist insurgency in the Americas.  Guzmán — a philosophy professor — formed Sendero in the 1960s, as a fundamentalist Maoist party, and in 1980, as China embarked upon its capitalist reforms, lashed out by launching the “People’s War” to disrupt Peru’s first democratic elections in sixteen years.

The ensuing 12-year conflict, which brought the Peruvian state to a standstill, destroyed $22 billion worth of property and nearly 70,000 people died or “disappeared” , three quarters of them, the impoverished indigenous peoples of the high Andes. Shining Path also turned its Andean headquarters in Ayacucho and the Upper Huallaga Valley into a place of violence and cocaine production.

Three successive administrations, ending with the autocratic Alberto Fujimori responded to the rebellion with the dangerous mixture of ineptitude and violence until Guzman was captured in a bloodless raid on a modest apartment above a dance studio in the Surquillo district of Lima, hidden — in a fitting touch for such a strange organization — by the prima ballerina of the national ballet.

Many photos were taken at Guzman’s perp-walk, but photographers mainly focused on the cage and Guzman. Two exceptions were Ana Cecilia Gonzales-Vigil (above) and Wesley Bocxe (below), whose photos captured the intense security  and media circus surrounding the arrest, with secret service agents, snipers, and prosecutors guarding the courtyard. Gonzales-Vigil won a mention in World Press Photo (1993) for her photo and Bocxe’s photo was chosen as one of the most iconic images of the century.

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Rafael Wollmann | Falklands

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Taking an iconic photo is sometimes about being at the right place, at the right time. No one could attest to that more than Rafael Wollmann.

The Argentine photographer had taken an assignment from a French photo agency Gamma to take a “geographical” photo-essay on a remote series of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 300 miles east of Patagonia. He arrived there on his 23rd birthday, on March 23 1982 and spent the next week documenting the island life.

On the afternoon of April Fool’s Day, 1982, Wollmann was greeted by the grave voice, coming from the radio, of the island’s British governor, Sir Rex Hunt — whom he had interviewed earlier. “We have apparently reliable evidence that an Argentine task force could be assembling off Stanley at dawn tomorrow. You will wish to make your dispositions accordingly,” Hunt repeated in verbatim a telegram he received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Wollmann stood in the middle of a pub, where everyone turned around to look at him — the only Argentinian in the pub. The Falklands War had begun.

Accused by Hunt of having being ‘planted’ by the Argentine junta (two days earlier, he had sent some of his films back to Argentina with air mail), Wollmann was detained briefly in Hunt’s chauffeur’s house, from inside which he took pictures. An unknown solider shot at him, mistaking his lens with some weapon, and missed Wollmann by only a few centimeters.

After Hunt had surrendered — in the full ostrich-plumed uniform befitting a British governor — and was bundled off to exile in Uruguay, Wollmann got out into the courtyard and took the photo above of British Marines being forced to surrender. He remembered:

“They were marching towards the courtyard of the governor’s house where they were delivering arms, then they went to the garden and were seated. They were already prisoners of war. I took a lot of caution, and I did not want to be imprisoned or they taking my camera, so I shot a picture and left the scene, not knowing what I was going to find when it was revealed.”

On April 3rd, Wollmann returned to Argentina, where a bidding war for his photos ensued. “I was able to pay for my house overnight” joked Wollmann.  Editorial Atlántida, an Argentine publishing house which had fired him four months earlier, put a private jet at his disposal to return to the islands. Wollmann gave his film to Gamma, which had initially hired him, and in France, another bidding war broke out between Paris Match and VSD magazines, which the latter won. It ran the photo with a deliciously schadenfreude caption: ‘England Humiliated’. In Italy’s L’Espresso, the title was “Hands up, England!”. Some would later argue that these images and captions prompted Margaret Thatcher to act decisively in dispatching troops to retake the islands.

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Saving Madidi

On this blog, we have discussed earlier about conservation of nature and economic reasons to develop them. Last week, I stood in the middle of one such frontline, in the middle of the Bolivian Amazon.

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In 1995, the country agreed to establish 1.8 million hectares of cloud and tropical forest, lowlands and savannah as Madidi National Park. It was part of a Debt-for-Nature Swap (where Third World countries’ debt were reduced in exchange for the promise not to develop rain forests and other natural areas). The Madidi is one of the most remote places in the world, straddling the foothills of the Andes and the Amazon basin, drained by vast rivers and pristine lakes. Reportedly, it holds 1,000 bird species and almost half of the new world’s mammals.

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Controversy began almost immediately after the Madidi was declared a national park. Various Bolivian governments have tried to build a dam at the park’s southeastern border: a dam which would flood over 2500 sq-km (14% of the park), including the Chalalan Lake. As far back as the 1950s, engineers proposed building a hydroelectric dam there, in the El Bala Narrows just north of Rurrenabaque, where the Rio Beni bursts through the last ridge of the Andes in a narrow defile. Bolivia does not need all the hydroelectric power the dam would generate, but it hopes to export to Brazil.

The project was halted in 1998 due to local opposition and international studies, but remained in limbo. Enter Joel Sartore, a Nebraskan photographer for National Geographic. The park was so remote that he was in the flight for 36 hours, drove for a few more hours, and spent a day on a canoe, fighting of sweat bees. He spent days on the scaffolding to photograph macaws in flight and later had to undergo treatment for leishmaniasis, a flesh-eating parasite that he got from a sandfly bite. His photos of the park which were printed on March-2000 Spanish language version of the magazine with the heading “Madidi, Will Bolivia Drown its Spectacular New National Park?” A widespread public outcry followed. Sartore recalls, “[The issue] ends up on the president of Bolivia’s desk. What does he say? ‘Of course we won’t drown our spectacular new park’.” Twenty years later, today, the park is once more in jeopardy as the Bolivian government reconsiders the El Bala dam project.

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(More photos here)

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Bolivia, 1946

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It was now forgotten everywhere outside of Bolivia today, but in August 1946, the United States and the USSR co-sponsored a coup there against the dictator General Gualberto Villarroel. The mob stormed the presidential palace, and hurled the general from the balcony. His lifeless body was hung from a lamp post in the Plaza Murillo facing the palace, copying of the death of Mussolini.

The photo above shows Villarroel’s Chief of Information and editor of the newspaper Cumbre, Roberto Hinojosa who was hung in a similar fashion. Hinojosa was an organizer of the Partido Socialists Revolucionario in the 1920s and led an attempted insurrection in the frontier military post of Villazon in June 1930. He tried to rally working-class support for the Villarroel government and was often called a Creole Goebbels. Fittingly, he wrote the only contemporary Spanish language biography of Hitler.

Along with Villarroel and Hinojosa, two other men were hung on the plaza:  Luis Uría de la Oliva and Captain Waldo Ballivián, Villarroel’s private secretary and aide-de-camp respectively.

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For all his hideous qualities (Villarroel was a fascist and admirer of Mussolini and Hitler), the coup was “the last, perhaps most unworthy, Allied victory of the Second World War,” lamented The Cambridge History of Latin America. Villarroel was a reformist who recognized trade unions, created retirement and pension systems. He also tried to abolish pongueaje and mitaje (types of indentured servitude that existed in Bolivia since the Spanish times) and create an indigenous assembly. None of these reforms were welcomed by the Bolivian establishment, least of all by La Rosca.

La Rosca was a mining cartel of Bolivian tin magnates, led by Simón Patiño, then the fifth richest man in the world. In many ways, La Rosca was the Bolivian state: many officials held mining directorships and traditionally the foreign minister received a monthly salary from Patiño Mines. Villarroel’s suggestion that the mines pay higher taxes and wages chaffed the tin barons. Particularly, they hated an April 1945 decree that mandated all their export earnings to be deposited in the Central Bank. After all, Patiño paid less than fifty dollars in income tax to Bolivia annually.

La Rosca bankrolled the coup against Villarroel, but everyone happily participated: the teachers, the students, the pro-Soviet communist party (PIR) and its mirror the anarcho-Trotskyist party (POR), the U.S embassy, the Catholic Church, the League of Morality, the Association of Mothers of Priests, the War Widows. In his fascist ways, Villarroel had wanted to give equal rights to whites and indigenous Indians, legal wives and illegal mistresses, legitimate and illegitimate children, alienating all.

As for La Rosca, it was the last hurrah. Patiño died less than a year later in April 1947, having cemented his reputation as “the Andean Rockefeller”. He didn’t live to see his empire and most of La Rosca’s mines nationalized during the revolution of 1952.

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Margaret Bourke-White | Tractors

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In her 1931 book, Eyes on Russia, the photographer Margaret Bourke-White wrote deferentially: “silhouetted against the sky, majestic in the morning, was that new God of Russia, the Tractor. Evenly and regally it travelled the horizon. The black earth turned beneath its disks. A procession of tiny clouds followed it overhead. It seemed that the tractor drew the whole firmament after it, earth and sky giving reverence to this new divinity.”

In 1930, Bourke-White traveled around Soviet Union to document its industrialization for Fortune, then recently launched as a high-end magazine covering industry and commerce. She was the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of the Soviet five-year plan and had received permission because another Fortune commission about European industrial sites (which she undertook because it was a ‘stepping stone to Russia’.) She traveled across Russia and returned to Moscow with 800 negatives. However, the Soviets refused to let her leave without seeing what was in those negatives, and for thirty-six hours, she worked tirelessly in a darkroom of a movie studio in Moscow to develop them.

The Russians did little to fear from Bourke-White. She covered their plans and factories with awe. She praised Russians because they “consider the artist an important factor in the Five Year Plan, and the photographer the artist of the machine…. where an industrial photographer is accorded the rank of artist and prophet.”

If there was a machine that symbolized the Soviet Union and its Five-Year Plans, that would be the tractor. By uniting industry and agriculture, it translated the central committee’s rhetoric into practical gains that most Russians could see and understand. Tractor stations became schools for young boys; brides rode tractors to their weddings; films from Alexander Dovzhenko’s Earth to Sergei Eisenstein’s The General Line extolled the mighty tractor, and the word ‘Traktorizatsiia’ (Tractorisation) entered the Soviet lexicon, and many agricultural communes were renamed after ‘Fordson’, a tractor brand. In the humorless propaganda of the collectivist state, “the enemy of the tractor is our class enemy”.

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In 1931, when Maurice Hindus published Red Bread, his account of his ancestral village’s mechanization, he reprinted Bourke-White’s photograph of a tractor at State Farm No. 2 with a fawning caption “The Russians regard the tractor as the chief conquering weapon of the Kolkhoz”.

It was fitting that the most famous photo of her trip was made at a tractor factory. The photo above was taken in Stalingrad at a steel plant being expanded to meet the large metal demands of the new tractor factory called Tractorstroi. Bourke-White considered the tractor factory — an American-style operation supervised by American engineers — a highlight of her Russian journey. The photo appeared in her book, Fortune, and USSR in Construction (a Soviet propaganda magazine), although in USSR in Construction, the photo was heavily edited. The background were airbrushed out and the worker’s face was retouched to create a more expressionless, and less glum mood.

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Convention hall — Chicago, 1956

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Robert Frank titled the photo above characteristically simple: ‘Convention hall — Chicago’. The atmosphere was anything but. It was 1956 and in order to whip up public interest, the Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson had declared that he would select the vice presidential nominee through a floor vote at the convention.

Two front-runners were Estes Kefauver, a senator who had represented Tennessee since 1939 and had recently been in news for his televised hearings on organized crime, and John Kennedy, a first-term senator. Kennedy had been in the news for his book  Profiles in Courage, published earlier that year and on the New York Times bestseller list for over thirty weeks, and was about to narrate a television documentary Pursuit of Happiness but was a relative unknown on the political scene. Both candidates faced fierce opposition: Kefauver from his own fellow Southerners because of his support for civil rights, and Kennedy because he was Roman Catholic.

Upon being lobbied to vote for Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy (then in the congressional delegation of Minnesota, and himself later a presidential candidate) grumbled, “All we have are farmers and Protestants.” Others were more blunt. J. Howard Edmondson, the governor of Oklahoma noted, “He’s not our kind of folks,” and Sam Rayburn, the speaker of the house, said: “If we have to take a Catholic, I hope we don’t have to take that little pissant Kennedy.” As the nomination slipped away from him, Kennedy withdrew his name from consideration, giving a speech to make nomination of Estes Kefauver unanimous. The crowd loudly cheered, and when Stevenson lost that November as everybody predicted, Kennedy became the de facto frontrunner for the 1960 election.

Frank’s photo — reminiscent of Felix Solomon’s backroom photos of European politicians — captured the energy and stress of that vice presidential fight. Men in the photo were unidentified, but the jowly man on the right was likely to be Joseph Lohman, a criminologist who was later Sheriff of Cook County and Illinois secretary of state. The man in dark glasses looked like Carmine DeSapio, the last boss of Tammany Hall, who led this party machine which had controlled New York politics for the eight decades into a brief renaissance in the 1950s.

 

Execution of a Pro-Communist Traitor

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It is often said that the act of observing sometimes changes the observation itself. Does the presence of prying photographers change things? Photographers covering conflicts or illegal activities face this dilemma. During a massacre in Dacca, Bangladesh, many photographers mused whether it would not have happened if they were not there, and whether they were invited to a ‘photo-op’. On the other hand, a recent Vice documentary is criticized for following a group of Kyrgyz men on their way to kidnap a bride without intervening.

This dilemma was posed to the French photographer Alain Mingam in Afghanistan covering Mujahedeen rebels. Largely because he was sympathetic to the Mujahedeen’s cause fighting against the Russian invaders, Mingam when he was specifically brought to a place to witness an execution. He recalled, “For someone like me who didn’t cover the Vietnam war, the mujaheddin’s battle against the biggest army in the world was David versus Goliath: those bearded, turbaned men fascinated me.”

It was July 1980, just six months after the Soviet Union had invaded its southern neighbor to forestall the collapse of a pro-Soviet government in Kabul. Condemned by an Islamic war tribunal for denouncing nine families to the Russians, the man in the photo is escorted 20 km outside Kabul for execution. “If I had not been there, the man would not have been shot and then ritually beheaded,” Mingam later reflected. For months, he admits, he could not sleep because he felt like an accomplice.

Alain Mingam had a Zelig-like presence in many defining events of last half century. In 1968, he was a student at the University of Nanterre where the events of 1968 began when ‘Dany the Red’ was disciplined.  He covered the “Carnation Revolution” in Portugal, the end of the colonels’ dictatorship in Greece, the French paratrooping intervention in Kolweizi, Zaire, and the massacres of refugees in Sabra and Shatila. In 1980, he arrived in Afghanistan posing as a tour agency operator to cover the war for Gamma.

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Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel | Papua New Guinea

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On Christmas Day, 1942, George Silk, a New Zealand photographer working for the Australian Department of Information, took the photo above a Papuan man leading a wounded Australian soldier. They were near Buna at the trailhead to the Kokoda Track on the island of Papua New Guinea, where the Australian forces had been defending against the Japanese assault across the Kokoda aimed at taking Port Moresby, the island’s capital.

There were many poignant photos and images from Kokoda. Damien Parer won Australia’s first Oscar for his Cinesound newsreel Kokoda Frontline and took an iconic photo of “Wally” — the blinded Digger being led by his mates across a river.  However, general public forever associates Kokoda with ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’ — the native volunteers who helped the soldiers to safety, and Silk’s photo was the perfect exemplar of sacrifice and ‘mateship’ displayed on the track and of those uncertain few months in 1942 and 1943, when war arrived on Australia’s doorstep and the country feared a Japanese invasion.

Only months earlier, a sapper working on the track had written a poem titled ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’, which was mailed to his mother and widely republished in Australian papers. With Silk’s photo, the press now have a simple and powerful image to accompany the poem. As the great Australian war correspondent Osmar White acerbically noted, “the public image of a New Guinean was transmogrified from that of a bloodthirsty cannibal with a bone through his nose to that of a dusky-skinned, mop-headed, sexless Florence Nightingale.”

After taking the photo, Silk ran back to ask the name of the wounded private (George Whittington, who later died of bush typhus in February 1943)  but not the name of the native. The latter’s identity was not discovered until decades later when he was identified as Raphael Oimbari and made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1943, Silk’s photograph was published in Life, which also recruited him. Frustrated by the strict Australian censorship, and following the example of other local journalists who left Australian agencies to work for the BBC and other agencies where they were given more freedom to report about the war, Silk left to work for Life and remained there until the magazine folded in 1972. His photo was later featured on a war memorial in Port Moresby and the medal the Australian government issued to the native carriers.

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Pinochet in Dark Glasses

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It was a time when most of South America was ruled by dictators, and an archetypal example of them was Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who cemented his image as a thuggish autocrat very early on in his reign, which began with an American-backed coup which deposed Salvador Allende 1973.

On Sept 18, six days after the coup, at Iglesia de la Gratitud Nacional, a Te Deum was held to consecrate the new government. All three living presidents endorsed the Pinochet junta (Allende having taken his own life on the day of the coup), as did the supreme court. The cardinal archbishop of Santiago led the mass, having previously refused to conduct Te Deum at a military school.

Pinochet showed up to the mass wearing dark glasses, and posed for the press. The photo above taken by Chas Gerretsen was widely re-printed on local and international papers and became popular among both the general’s supporters and opponents. Gerretsen, a Dutch-born war photographer who won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for this photo and who would later be arrested by the Pinochet regime for taking a picture of the general drinking at a press conference, remembers the day:

There was a press pass, where the press was invited to photograph the junta. I did not want to cover another of those things, so I did not register, but an hour before I said: “I have nothing to do, why don’t I go?” So I went and when I got to the street of the Church where they were doing the ceremony, there were soldiers everywhere: on the street, on the roofs. And they would not let me through. Then one of Pinochet’s men recognized me and said to let me pass. And at the next stop they stopped me again and they let me pass again and so on until I got to the church with another 10 or 15 photographers and cameramen.

The junta was all sitting with their assistants and I arrived and I started taking pictures one by one right in front of them. Other photographers took pictures of open angles. I think maybe they were afraid to get too close to the generals. If you see the photos you will see that I went one by one taking pictures and the only striking photo is that of Pinochet. It is the Hollywood dream of a dictator. That’s why people like the photo, because it portrays it as what it is. If you see the picture of General [Gustavo] Leigh, for example, he is also sitting on a chair, I think he also has his arms crossed and is wearing glasses, but he looks weak, like nothing. Like most other generals, he is a follower.”

Gerretsen requested Pinochet to take off his sunglasses, but the general refused, however, with the words: “I am Pinochet.” Later, he told Maria Eugenia Oyarzun, a journalist writing the book Augusto Pinochet, Dialogues with his History that, “The reason for the shades was simple. It was a way of telling things. Lies are discovered through the eyes, and I lied often.”

Two days after the mass, Pinochet gave a press conference, where he claimed that once the country recuperates and overcomes chaos, the junta will hand power back. Instead, Chile languished under his dark glasses for another 17 years.

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Aberfan Disaster | 1966

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At 9.15 am on the morning of  October 21, 1966, a coal slag heap at Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. Within five minutes, it had buried a school, several cottages and a farm. In total, 144 people were killed – 116 of them young children, studying at Pantglas school.

The National Coal Board (NCB), the creaky custodian of all nationalized coal assets in Britain blamed the accident on abnormal rainfall (although it had received earlier warnings). Its grandiose chairman Lord Robens — who was driven around in a Daimler bearing the plates ‘NCB 1’ and who was known as ‘Old King Coal’ — didn’t help the matters: upon hearing of the accident, he instead went ahead with his plans to be installed as chancellor of Surrey University and showed up in Aberfan only the following day — with an outsized cigar.

By this time, images of the wreckage of Pantglas Junior School had already been widely circulated. The most iconic was that of eight-year old Susan Maybank (later Susan Robertson) carried off from the school by policeman Victor Jones. Mel Parry, then an eighteen year old apprentice photographer, remembers the day:

“I got off the bus, saw it, rang the office and asked the chief photographer if he could bring some equipment down. As soon as he arrived, I just started taking pictures. The photograph that everybody’s aware of I have no recollection of taking. It was, from what I’m led to understand, one of the first three that were ever taken of the site…. I saw the photograph later in the evening when the paper came out. I didn’t think anything of it, I didn’t even think it was mine – I didn’t find out until three days later…. Personally I wish I’d never taken it, because I wish the disaster had never happened. I just happened to be one person in the right place at the right time. Six or seven years later I got out of photography altogether. It gave me 15 minutes of fame on the back of a disaster and that is something I would not wish on anybody.”

Parry won the news category of the British Press Photographer of the Year, the youngest-ever recipient. Ironically, the full-sized photo (above) was never actually carried by any paper: it was cropped out by the darkroom assistant, who wanted to hone in on the central image of rescuer, child and wailing woman.

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Venice. 1902.

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It was where Galileo first displayed his telescope to the Doge and where Goethe first saw the sea. By the time it collapsed in 1902, Campanile di San Marco, the sixteenth century bell tower overlooking the piazza of the same name in Venice, had seen various historical and weather turmoils.

Margaret Plant recounts in Venice: Fragile City that although a crack had been seen on the tower at least a week before the collapse, no precautions had been taken. The visitors were still allowed to climb up the weekend before, even as cracks visibly multiplied, even reaching the fifth floor. On Sunday before the collaspe, the orchestras in the piazza (a planned concert by the 18th Infantry Regiment band) were finally silenced to avoid vibrations, but it was too late. On the early hours of 14 July 1902 (some said 9.47 am, others 9.52 am), the tower collapsed, injuring no one but killing a caretaker’s cat (named Mélampyge, weirdly after Casanova’s dog).

Various fake photos claiming to show the collapse circulated, and became famous around the world. The photos below are fake montages by Antonio De Paoli (left) and Giovanni Zanetti (right), both of which showed people running in the piazza away from the debris. The above more dramatic photo, produced by Angelo Zaghis, was more accurate in its portrayal of an empty square but is also likely to be fake, eventhough it was reproduced in many books on Venetian history, including Plant’s.

Despite some grumbles — most notably from Giosue Carducci, the anti-clerical unofficial poet laureate of Italy (who would soon win the Nobel Prize in Literature) — the Venice city council voted unanimously to rebuild it.  The mayor Filippo Grimani famously proclaimed, “com’era e dov’era (as it was, where it was)”. In a solemn ceremony befitting the pomp and maritime history of the Venetian Republic, the rubble from the Campanile were taken by ship for a ‘funeral’ in a ceremony that mimicked ‘La Sensa’, the annual ceremony where the Doges of Venice dropped gold rings into the sea. Tower itself was rebuilt — using many of the bricks which survived the collapse, crowned by the Marangona, the only one of the five original bells to survive the collapse (other bells were recast from the recovered fragments) — and was reopened on St. Mark’s Day 1912, exactly 1,000 years after the very first bell tower on the site was built.

 

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The Gladiators

ProvanSummons

At the end of each season for National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia, the winning team is given a trophy fashioned after one of Australia’s enduring sporting images. Two mud-soaked men embracing each other — a symbol of camaraderie and ‘mateship’ in rugby league.

Two men were Norm Provan (left) and Arthur Summons, after whom the current trophy has been named since 2013 (earlier versions of the trophy also featured them, but was named after the cigarette manufacturer Winfield, which was forced to withdraw their sponsorship of the Premiership, following the ban on cigarette advertising). Provan and Summons were respectively the captains for St. George and Western Suburbs, and despite the photo and its subsequent history welding two men together, the giant second-rower and the diminutive halfback initially did not get along. Summons noted that he had refused to swap jumpers with Provan amidst the rumors that the referee had bet £600 on a St George win, and that the photo captured the moment when he complained about the referee’s decision to Provan.

The photo, later known as The Gladiators, was taken by the Sun-Herald photographer John O’Gready on 24th August 1963 when St George beat Western Suburbs 8-3 for the eighth of their consecutive championships premierships. Another photographer Phil Merchant took a similar picture for the Daily Telegraph but his editors chose not to run it, because Merchant took the photo vertically, which didn’t fit the horizontal space available.

The O’Gready photo went on to win numerous international awards, including the British Sport Picture of the Year award (the only Australian photo to be so honored thus far) and was considered one of the greatest sporting images. In 2007, Provan and Summons reunited to cover themselves in vaseline and pigment instead of mud to reproduce the photo for a charity.

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It has been a few months since I started Patreon, and it has given me a few creative ideas,  encouragements, and good interactions with readers. I had tremendous fun researching and writing Iconic Photos, and the Patreon is a way for this blog to be more sustainable and growth-focused. Here is the link to my Patreon:

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