Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” and generations of journalists have followed his maxim. But the opposite can also be true: the farther away you are, the better you can see. At Firdos Square, the farther from the statue you were, the more you could understand.
Very few Iraqis were there. If you were at the square, or if you watch the footage, you can see, on the rare occasions long shots were used, that the square was mostly empty. You can also see, from photographs as well as video, that much of the crowd was made up of journalists and marines. Because of the lo-fi quality of the video and the shifting composition of the crowd, it’s hard to give a precise number, but perhaps a quarter to a half consisted of journalists or marines. The crowd’s size—journalists, marines, and Iraqis—does not seem to have exceeded several hundred at its largest, and was much smaller for most of the two hours. The Iraqis who were photogenically enthusiastic—sledgehammering the statue, jumping on it after the toppling—were just an excitable subset of all Iraqis there. “I saw a lot of people watching with their arms crossed, not at all celebrating,” Collier noted.
via The New Yorker – Toppling the statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. This is a classic New Yorker story, take a single idea or story go really in depth, pull interesting nuggets and raise questions.
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