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Paris Museum Criticized for Photo Exhibit That ‘Glorifies’ Suicide Bombers

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A state-funded museum in Paris is drawing widespread criticism for a new exhibit of photos that show sympathetic portrayals of Palestinian suicide bombers.

Palestinian photographer Ahlam Shibli‘s exhibit, entitled “Phantom Home,” shows intimate portraits of suicide bombers and their families, along with captions that criticize Israel and laud the bombers as martyrs. Subjects include members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, widely regarded as a terrorist organization and responsible for dozens of killings in Israel.

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One photo shows a mother proudly displaying a portrait of her son, who died in a bus bombing that killed 19 people. Another photo bears a caption that describes the subjects as “martyrs” who died “as a result of the Israeli occupation.”

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Jewish groups in France have protested the exhibit, at Paris’ Jeu de Paume museum. “And to think this is a state-funded museum,” Roger Cukierman, president of Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, told Israel Hayom. “There must be more vigilance. One minute France is fighting terrorists in Mali, and then celebrating the same ones here.”

Museum administrators have defended the exhibit, while at the same time clarifying that the views expressed are purely those of the photographer. “It poses an important question: Where is the limit of freedoms to artistic expression?” according to a statement from the French Culture Minsitry

(via Israel Hayom)


Image credits: Photographs by Ahlam Shibli/Jeu de Paume


 
  • http://www.facebook.com/marko.raos Marko Raos

    the silence is deafening….

  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    photographs regarding war will always be controversial one way or another – protesting against and demanding some kind of censorship of certain types because of a point of view conveyed in captions isn’t really the best way to go about it. These photographs are just as important as photographs of victims

  • kshapero

    Disgusting. A pox on France.

  • Nico

    There are humans trying not to see each other on each side of every conflict.

  • cogent

    They are really homicide bombers. They kill many more people than just themselves. Their purpose is to kill others–and that’s homicide, not suicide. Their victims are innocent children, mothers, wives, fathers and passersby. If they went into the desert far from others and blew themselves up–well then they would be suicide bombers. The next exhibit will be sympathetic portraits of the homes and families of Mafia hit men. The French love this stuff.

  • Spongebob Nopants

    It’s war propoganda masquerading as art.

    If the artist and curator want to present it then fine but the government shouldn’t be funding foreign war propoganda.

    Especially an exhibit that celebrates an act that every country in the world considers murder when it happens within their own borders.
    Seriously. If it was an exhibit lionizing the man who just knifed a french soldier a few weeks ago, or the terrorist who shot schoolchildren on the streets of France last year – do you think the nation of France should, or even would, pay for it?
    And what about The Boston Bombers? To their minds they were doing the same exact thing. Killing non combatants for reasons that were acceptable to them. What would you think of a government that funded an “art exhibit” lionizing them?

  • John Kantor

    A controversy that’s easily resolved by blowing up the museum (with the photographer and director, inside of course).

  • Gilchrist Alo

    The comments on this post is amusing. The Internet is filled with people who spout crap just because they’re comfortable behind a screen. As Adam Cross has stated photographs regarding war will forever be controversial. Keep your political ideologies to yourself, many of us on here don’t care for it.

  • Scott M.

    Art is short for artifice.
    Europe is just about done.

  • Spongebob Nopants

    HA! As if your comment doesn’t belie your own “political ideology”.

    The article has almost nothing to do with photography. It’s about a state funding a partisan political statement and the reaction to it.

    You clearly cared enough to read the article and look at other peoples comments. Your comment shows that your interest in the story and comments wasn’t about the curatorial or artistic dimensions either.

    This would be a good place for a snarky comment about throwing stones but in this case it’s TOO appropriate.

  • god

    “They are really homicide bombers. They kill many more people than just
    themselves. Their purpose is to kill others–and that’s homicide, not
    suicide. Their victims are innocent children, mothers, wives, fathers
    and passersby. If they went into the desert far from others and blew
    themselves up–well then they would be suicide bombers. The next
    exhibit will be sympathetic portraits of the homes and families of Mafia
    hit men. The French love this stuff.”

    let’s talk about what we did in Vietnam… for what ? and Irak ? hum hum…

  • -

    So you should not show the others culture as it is.. right.

  • Spongebob Squarepants

    You are suggesting that most palestinians are killers and I find that very hard to believe.