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Authoritarism by varjag Authoritarism by varjag
March 25th 2005, Minsk, Belarus.

An aged lady, probably a casual bypasser, is seeking her way out of the police lines fruitlessly with an expression of disbelief on her face. She is locked with about a thousand activists protesting against the president Lukashenko throwing the country back into the authoritarian past.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2006-06-18
Authoritarism by ~varjag I open up the suggestion -- yes, from a deviant who's work I both respect and enjoy -- and he says, "Unknown on dA for quite a long time, despite excellent photojournalism..." I agree. Had a very hard time figuring out which of his photos to dd. Something brought me back to this one. Twice. So ... here it is. Hope this gets you to check out this guy's gallery. ( Suggested by OlovPhotopov and Featured by cweeks )
:iconrainbow-stripe:
rainbow-stripe Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2009   Photographer
This is my country.
But now in our country better.
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:iconkrematorium:
Krematorium Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
Powerful, to say the least.
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:iconelizabethchiyoko:
ElizabethChiyoko Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2007
Love it
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:iconlucanos:
Lucanos Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
Terrific shot!
Great use of this angle to make the Riot cops look massive compared to the civilian. And having two of them flanking the shot just gives that impression of... well... oppression, control, anonymous representations of power.
Very powerful.
And even in their uniforms, which are already a very effective way of dehumanising people - all people see if the uniform - I noticed that the right side of the backs of their coats are almost identical. Only a very small detail, but, for me at least, reinforced the idea of a lack of individuality between them... (Sometimes Autism is a curse.)
Well deserved DD.
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2006   Photographer
Thank you for insightful comment. Your description fits my perception of this shot fairly closely: it is about authority, taking sometimes ugly, disproportional forms.

These two guys might have families they love, perhaps like to pass a beer or two while watching the world cup with friends. But on the job they wouldn't hesitate beating the shit out of about any person if so ordered.
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:iconlucanos:
Lucanos Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
I get what you're saying about the soldiers/cops - under the uniform they are real people, with real lives and real feelings, but on the job they have to be emotionless and cold. Just part of the job, and quite literally, being able to switch that attitude on and off could be the difference between making it home or not at the end of their day. (Not at a peaceful protest, but when it gets hairy.)

Whilst you, and I, (and I guess anyone who knows someone who is either a soldier or a cop, or anyone who has to act in that kind of capacity) have the insight to know about the softer side of these guys this shot does well to illustrate that cold side of them rather than the warm side. I am sure that, if you got a shot which showed the eyes of the cops - the chink in their armor so to speak, that more human side would shine through, but, as you mentioned in your guide to shooting protests (a very thorough and handy guide I must say) getting in the face of a cop who may not really like having to be that cold and uncaring representative of authority is an easy way to get on the wrong side of the guy you're trying to photograph.

A terrific shot, and a great accompanying site with some handy resources.
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:iconaarnio:
Aarnio Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006
Military police are just about the coolest thing that exists. I know, I'm being immature and missing the entire point. Anyway, MP's are the toughest shit ever.
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:iconpetebarker:
petebarker Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006
but they arnt though.

most of the MP's i met in croatia and bosnia were right nob's

pete
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:iconaarnio:
Aarnio Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2006
I can see that you are wrong. Those were disguised MP's whose orders were to distract people by projecting a bad image for MP's. You have been decieved and will probably be assassinated with incredibly smooth and lethal MP-methods. They will also make it look like you sacrificed yourself to the Gaia-alien conpiracy for their personal amusement when they are off duty (MP's don't have time to be amused while ON duty).
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:iconpetebarker:
petebarker Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2006
so i can take it then that you wernt in bosnia or croatia then?

or have been to any millatry instalation in any war-zone for that matter?

or havent in fact ever met millatry police on duty in a war-zone?

regards - pete
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:iconaarnio:
Aarnio Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2006
That information is confidential. If I told you, a force of MP's would quickly be dispatched to put you down... and I might get demoted for leaking.
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
These are however not military police, despite the camo. They called OMON (a Russian acronym for "Speical Purpose Police Team"), intended for riot control, and are very loyal to their president.
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:iconkatterrena:
Katterrena Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006   Photographer
The army guys look HUGE next to the little old lady.
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:iconkatterrena:
Katterrena Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2006   Photographer
I guess she isn't a very big person to begin with. You stick anyone next to her they'd look big.
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2006   Photographer
They really are fairly big guys, but of course not *that* big :)
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:iconexhalesigh:
exhalesigh Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
This picture is great.
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconfatalfoes:
FatalFoes Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
I really love the juxtoposition of sizes. The old lady looks soooooo tiny compared to the almost identical, gigantic figures of the policemen, which really helps the message of the picture.
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thanks! :)
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:iconleos-hidden-perch:
Leos-hidden-perch Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
i cant think of anything strong enough to say...
i'll be praying like mad that everything will turn out right.
:heart:'s from here.
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thank you for the kind comment, I am delighted to know that my photography gets through to affect people!
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:iconfaestar:
FaeStar Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006   Filmographer
Congrats on the DD! By the way, thank you for allowing me to use some of your photos in my presentation. The class loved it, much thanks to your work. Finally, some kids who are no longer completely politically apathetic.

You have such an amazing artistic eye. Keep up the great work! :)
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thankyou, I always enjoy learning that my photos find good use!
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:iconslightreturn:
SlightReturn Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
exactly what schizophrenicwhore said
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
:nod:
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:iconunpure-euphoria:
Unpure-Euphoria Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
Easily a favourite of mine, no doubt. I am an activist, and even if I was not I still feel this piece would touch me. That is a very realist sense you have caught there, and the title is pure genius, with the whole intentional spelling and all. It actually took me two or three times of saying the title to get it. ^_^;;

Awesome photo, extremely inspiring.
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thank you for the touching comment, it is absolutely exciting to know that your photography may inspire other people. Film money were not wasted :)
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:iconshe-nomad:
She-Nomad Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
Great shot :) Very intense ^^
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thanks ;)
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:iconwarrenbodnaruk:
WarrenBodnaruk Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
Great photo. Quite a frightening scene you've captured! :nod:
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thanks! Fortunately it has ended not very violent that day.
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:icondisturbed-shade:
Disturbed-Shade Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006   Interface Designer
Powerful peice! Favorite!
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thanks :)
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:icontnrpictures:
TNRpictures Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
great shot!!! :clap:
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thankyou!
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:icontnrpictures:
TNRpictures Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
you're welcome!
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:iconioffe:
IOFFE Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
molodets! :thumbsup:
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Spasibo!
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:icontruemarmalade:
truemarmalade Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
Don't hurt the old lady!
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
They did not in the end :)
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:icontruemarmalade:
truemarmalade Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006
Whew, that's a relief..
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:icontagus:
TAGUS Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
:clap: :clap: Amazing capture :+fav:
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thanks :)
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:iconhysteria9:
hysteria9 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006   Photographer
picture is great... the atmosphere too... kinda sad. and troubling
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thanks.. it is a troubled place, with many wrongs going. There is hope too though.
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:iconchyandum:
Chyandum Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006  Student Photographer
good
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
:)
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:icondcbsupafly:
DCBSupafly Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
It's great in color! Excellent perspective!!!
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:iconvarjag:
varjag Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2006   Photographer
Thanks :)
Reply
:icontoxic-coma:
toxic-coma Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2006
"An aged lady" it's "A aged lady"....it's the lady
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April 15, 2005
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