Image/Counterimage?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

What the image reveals is that the myth of monster, the myth of martyr gives way to that of victim, victim of the lens as much as history. Is this a face of death, or one of life, one of hope or of sorrow? The innocence and beauty that makes this face the object of teenage adoration is perhaps the same which makes it the face of horror – it reveals that the terrorist is not the bearded maniac with yellowed teeth and crazed eyes, but that he is us, is inside us, because he resembles us. The photographic truth matching the spiritual truth.

And then, to counter this image, to mask this face, too pretty to be guilty, some would say, come other images – expositions of monstrosity which reveal another sacrifice, one of hope, one of history, leaving in its traces nothing more than a wake of victims.

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