Putting Photos on the Map

I was pretty bored, so I played around on my own blog and came up with a map of the countries where these iconic photos hail from. At first, I thought I might also put how many iconic photos a country produces at another variable but it proved to be too complicated and hard to see. I also attempted to do the same for American states, but my interest quickly ran out — thus the U.S. is presented as a single entity — although there are areas (say Idaho or Iowa) where no iconic photos currently hail.

That being said, places like China and Russia are colored whole too, although the photos on this blog are not representative of these nations’ vast interiors and different ethnic groups. In addition, geographical maps had changed enough over years (the break-up of USSR being just one example). In coloring newer countries, judgement had been made individually. For instance, Kazakhstan is not colored because no iconic images currently come from there, but Slovekia is colored because Prague Spring applied to it as well.

And then there are events that happened in two countries: conquest of Mt. Everest in Nepal and India, Armenian Genocide in Armenia and Turkey, etc…..and there are photos that are literally out of this world. They went uncategorized, of course.

(People from the countries being left out should suggest me their countries’ iconic photos).

15 thoughts on “Putting Photos on the Map

  1. Just a quick question: which iconic picture(s) have you posted about Belgium? I see it colored but haven’t seen one (but I’m only following this blog since a month or 6-7).
    Also I take it that the little European countries were not on the map (Andorra, San Marino, …)?

  2. From Portugal (yet missing):
    There are a number of photos that were nationally iconic, during the XXth century. The 1908 mourning of King D. Manuel II still gunshot wounded, next to his mother, after the assassination of his father, King D. Carlos, and brother, the heir presumptive, D. Luis.
    This photo and picture were all over the european press.
    O luto do já rei D. Manuel e de D. Amélia, na capa de uma revista francesa de 15 de Fev.1908

    Several iconic photos from Salazar’s regime were also widely published and, consequently, loved and hated.
    After the 1974 revolution, dozens of iconic photos tryed to embody that spirit. One of my favourite is Cunhal’s (leader of the comunist party) arrival in Lisbon: http://alturl.com/3gah Quasi an atempt to recreate this image of Lenin: http://alturl.com/zmco with armed men by his side.

    But, now that the 2010 South Africa World Cup is upon us, I recall the iconic photo of Eusebio crying, after the epic semi-final against England in ’66.

    The story is well known and beautifuly told in this piece – http://alturl.com/d4xw :

    “game with Portugal seemed a kind of unveiling, a revelation of all that was best in football, a game that must have converted even chess addicts, and that certainly won over clusters of people who had previously done little more than unwillingly suspend their disbelief.
    Eusebio wept as he left the field, and it was only as we were trailing out of the stadium, still dazed by football
    The following day, the press forgot itself in lyrical ecstasies. The front pages all showed us Eusebio either in tears or embracing Bobby Charlton. The economic crisis had retreated to page 3.”

    This photo was not taken in Portugal, I grant you that, but as an icon, it is Portugal.

  3. In Chile you can put photos about the putsch against Allende, in Colombia you can search about the “Bogotazo”, and In Paraguay “la guerra de la triple alianza”. These events really have changed these countries.

  4. This is the most iconic photo about Greece that I can think of. A man marching for peace by himself. This man is Gregoris Lambrakis, an MP for the left-wing party EDA. Well, the party, and Lambrakis himself, were mostly center, but all the other left-wing parties were banned at the time.

    In 1963, a demonstration for peace and nuclear disarmament was banned by the authorities, and several people where arrested before it even began. But this fellow, taking advantage of his parliamentary immunity, marched by himself all the way from Marathon to Athens (where he was finally arrested, too), holding a banner with the symbol of peace and the word “Greece”. One month later, he was assassinated by right-wing extremists.

    Why it’s iconic: even out of context, a man marching all alone holding a banner with the peace symbol is a powerful image. Take it into context, and it’s amazing. Lambrakis is an icon himself in his country, regarded as a man of integrity who was assassinated because he became a nuisance to the right-wing authorities and the Royal Court. An athlete, a doctor, a philanthropist, popular for all of the above, but mostly a man determined to fight against all odds for his beliefs. This photo captures his determination, and became a symbol of resistance during the even darker – for democracy – days that followed: the dictatorship of the Colonels. I would say that, today, it’s the most recognizable political photo in Greece.

    Now, for the rest of the world, the whole story would probably be completely unknown, if it weren’t for Costa Gavras and his film “Z” (about the assassination of Lambrakis, and its subsequent cover up), which was an international hit at the time – except in Greece, where it was naturally banned by the dictatorship. It won an Oscar and everything. Years later, the title of the film would be used for “Z Magazine”, a project of people like Noam Chomsky and the late Howard Zinn. Its moto is “The spirit of resistance lives”.

    Does that mean that this particular photograph rings any bells to anyone outside Greece today? Frankly, I’m not sure. But it’s still your best bet, I think.



  5. Finland

    I was looking for some images from President Kekkonen who ruled some 25 years. But have not found the on the net. I may have to ask some library to get them for you.

    But one definetly iconic image is a portrait of composer Jean Sibelius by Yousuf Karsh

    I ll hopefully be back for more.

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