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article imageBeware of Images: 'Welcome to Putin’s Russia'

By Mathew Wace Peck     Aug 24, 2013 in Politics
Beware of Images has added its voice to the call to boycott President Vladimir Putin's Russia for its attack on its gay citizens, by creating an image evoking the Nazi's treatment of homosexuals during the Second World War.
Many people are aware of Nazi Germany's inhumane and insane treatment of Jewish people simply because of who they were, forcing them to where a yellow star of David on their concentration-camp prison uniforms.
Unfortunately, many of those same people are simply unaware or, worse, deniers of the equally inhumane and insane treatment of gay men, who were forced to wear pink triangles on their concentration-camp uniforms.
In response to Evoking the crimes against gay men by the Nazis during the Second World War, Beware of Images has produced a graphic depicting a pink triangle on a blue-and-white-striped background, with the legend "Welcome to Putin's Russia".
In June this year, as already reported by Digital Journal, President Putin "passed a bill classifying so-called "homosexual propaganda" as pornography, with fines and arrests for those making it accessible to minors. Many protests, and much condemnation, have arisen worldwide since the law was introduced.
Last week, the American actor and screenwriter, Wentworth Miller, turned down an invitation to be the guest of honour at the St Petersburg International Film Festival because of Russia's treatment of gay people.
Beware of Images is a feature-length animated documentary tells the history of visual representation and explores the intricate relationship between the technology, regulation and social effects of mass media.
In 1929, the Belgian artist Rene Magritte created The Treachery of Images. The painting showed a pipe, and under it the paradoxical inscription "This is not a pipe". When it was pointed out to him that what he had created was, in fact, a pipe, Magritte replied, "OK, you should try filling it with tobacco then." Stated 10 years before the infamous WWII propaganda campaigns, Magritte's warning was clear: "Beware of the seductive and deceptive power of images."
The movie is directed by Sergio Toporek who, as well as being an independent filmmaker, is an artist and designer. According to the Beware of Images website, "[Toporek's] work explores the relationship between art, mysticism, science and technology. He has designed over 80 CD covers, working with musicians as varied as Luis Miguel and Cafe Tacuba."
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