The crisis in Africa worsens. In December, the Tunisian people rebelled and forced their President Ben Ali to quit is office. In the recent week, related violence has escalated as Egyptian Presisent Hosni Mubarak clings to power.
Some analysts are comparing these events to the "Velvet Revolution" of Czechoslovakia of 1989, when most of the country's population showed up to protest on the streets and successfully removed their Communist government. Others are comparing recent events to the fall of the Berlin Wall, also in 1989.
Perhaps there are some similarities when viewed generously. Images of massive crowds of Egyptians roaming the streets and ignoring curfews are compelling. In an effort to control the people, President Mubarak ordered his tanks to mobilize. A tank is only good for one thing, which is shooting. The Egyptian army has so far refused to fire upon the people, who clamber all over the tanks as if they were playground equipment.
The Egyptian lower class has little to lose. President Mubarak has used many strategies to hold onto his status. Some sources refer to him as "a Pharoah come to modern times", hinting at Mubarak's despotic uses of power. Others mention an undercurrent of Muslim fundamentalism within the rebellion. And it's not difficult to see that the weapons being pointed at the people come largely from the United States. This is a very complex situation. While it may be best that Mubarek resigns his Presidency, Egypt could continue to feel critical aftershocks from this week's events.
I decided to come up with some kind of political statement montage. After all that work, though, I'm not happy with the composition. The idea was that Mr. Mubarak would hover over his people like some kind of angry gilded god, spewing forth armour, riot police an tear gas. Gilding President Mubarak into the likeness of a pharoah turned out rather well, and it was easier to accomplish than I thought. I should have stopped there. Instead, I added the tank, the cops, and the crowd. I wanted to add some darkened televisions and computers to simulate how the Egyptians were cut off from the Internet.
I guess political statements shouldn't be montages. They should be focussed on the point at hand.
The background is from the video game "Serious Sam" by Croteam (bad Jeff!). I pulled the images of the police and some protesters from public domain Wikipedia sources. The M1A1 tank is from a US Government website and was also public domain. Mr. Mubarak's portrait and the Tutankhamun mask were taken from wire press sources (bad Jeff!). I gilded, scrubbed, and repainted a bunch of stuff using Corel Painter in an effort to unify the look of all the elements.
The writing on the tank I applied myself: it should read "Imagine Peace".