The idea for the series of three photographs “Arab Autumn 2011” has been growing in me since my involvement in the work of One Law for All and Passion for Freedom London Art Festival. I was following the events in the Middle East and what struck me the most was the sheer enthusiasm on the side of Western media and commentators. It all looked so simple. The headlines claiming that internet through Twitter and Facebook are bringing freedom and democracy to all the countries involved in political unrest. I was thrilled too, yet I could not believe the headlines. The news stories started to look more like mere fantasies than actual events. Maryam Namazie, the activist leading the work of One Law for All (an organization campaigning against the Sharia courts operating in Great Britain) was receiving numerous e-mails from Egypt and Tunisia in particular telling the other side of the story. The persecution of secularists and atheists, the pressure to introduce Sharia law for all citizens whether they are believers or not.
I started to think how does it feel to lose your own freedom, how does it feel when you are forced to slowly submit yourself to that power? The images started to play in my mind. The final result come to me in Madrid. Only after seeing the result I have noticed that the body posture changes dramatically with every step of submission. “She is not the same, she’s broken”.
See more work by Agnieszka Kolek