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07 December 2012


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I saw some of these photos previously and recoiled in disgust and anger. The symbolism is layered as deeply in this image as the cuts are incised in Hassan's back.

Those crude X's are variously: in algebra X the unknown quantity (but I know this is a human, one who feels pain, and suffers). In correction X is to cross out what you got wrong (and this man did nothing wrong, only seek to live a better life). In mapping one's location X marks the spot where you are (and Hassan was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but for all the right reasons.)

But above all X is the mark of the illiterate, the crude scrawl that signifies one's 'contract' with another. And in this case a more vile mark I cannot imagine, and in truth this is a betrayal of that most fundamental contract, that of humanity.

You are right to draw attention to the 'convergence' between this horrible present and the shame of our past. I hope these images cause outrage and some soul-searching amongst the vast majority of the reasonable and decent people of Greece whose flag has been misappropriated and soiled by these thugs.

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