Activity: External talk or presentation › Invited talk
This set of photographs was taken by photographer Julia Winckler and architectural historian Karin Jaschke during a visit to Tunis in December 2009. We were struck by the omnipresence in the city of propagandistic images of the now-deposed Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Ben Ali’s benign smile and benevolent poses in pictures, posters, and wall paintings and the cheerfulness of the red and white bunting everywhere in town clearly belied the dire state of Tunisian democracy and civil society. At the same time it was a truthful illustration of the omnipresence of an autocratic, corrupt regime of twenty-odd years weighing down on the capital, the country, and its citizens. It was impossible to resist this iconographic excess: we found ourselves shooting photograph after photograph of images of Ben Ali.