Title: Yes to a rosy future
Photographer(s): Nicolas Righetti
Writer(s): Christian Brändle
Publisher(s): Trolley Books, London, England
Size: 15,5 x 15,5 cm
Print: S.E.P.E.C. France
Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: Syria, 2007
Falling stylistically somewhere between Oriental baroque and Soviet monumentalism, the portraits of Bashar al-Assad have long transformed the streets of Syria into a surprising urban landscape. Nicolas Righetti, a faithful photographer of totalitarian icons, discovered Damascus during the president's last re-election: the capital was in the grip of a veritable pictorial excess. He then captured these propaganda images in their context and in their materials - damaged, crumpled, soiled. That was in 2007. Since then, Bashar al-Assad's speeches have become infamous. Confronted with the portraits of a triumphant power, his obstinate sentences resound with brutal cynicism to, in the end, reveal an entirely different portrait: that of a smiling repression. Postface by Christian Brändle (Director of the Museum of Design Zurich).