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Author Topic: Reprimanded for a photograph  (Read 13547 times)

CanadianInvestor

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Reprimanded for a photograph
« on: August 09, 2013, 08:00:25 AM »
(apologies in advance... could not upload even a 2MB file and hence the link)

The photograph below was taken in Dubai Mall, ostensibly the largest mall in the world.  The subject was 30 m from me and what caught my eye was the shoes she was wearing under the head-to—toe garment referred to as Abaya.  When I showed it to my expat host, he said that I should be careful and not publicise this photo since, ‘Here, we are not free to do things as you would do in the West’.  This seemed rather odd.  I have travelled extensively and I think I am culturally sensitive.  Has any one else among the rumour-mongers experienced this real or perceived Gestapo mentality when it came to otherwise innocuous  photographs.  I can understand one’s handlers in Pyongyang not allowing you to point your camera in a particular direction but when no apparent reason exists, a ‘police state’ mentality governing photography would be interesting.

Your experiences on this front are welcome.



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Reprimanded for a photograph
« on: August 09, 2013, 08:00:25 AM »

JPAZ

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 08:16:55 AM »
First, nice shot of a moving object from that distance.  Second, there is no way to identify the person nor do I find this photo insensitive.  One must always respect local customs and cultures and I could see where technically this might "reveal" more than that society deems proper, but I see no problem with this photo.
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jdramirez

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 08:29:09 AM »
 You  know what I find offensive,  sex in the city 2.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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J.R.

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 08:32:55 AM »
There is nothing wrong in the photo obviously, but ... Religion (and corresponding clothing) is a pretty sensitive issue in some parts of the Middle East. What might seem innocuous to western society may appear blasphemous to certain fanatical sections of the Middle Eastern society.

Most fundamentalists have the attitude of shooting the messenger so it is better to be safe than sorry!
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 08:58:56 AM »
You  know what I find offensive,  sex in the city 2.

Or just a catch all  'Sex in the city'.

To be honest with the OP, I wouldn't even try this in a Glasgow shopping mall.

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 09:01:54 AM »

The photograph below was taken in Dubai Mall, ostensibly the largest mall in the world.  The subject was 30 m from me and what caught my eye was the shoes she was wearing under the head-to—toe garment referred to as Abaya.  When I showed it to my expat host, he said that I should be careful and not publicise this photo since, ‘Here, we are not free to do things as you would do in the West’.  This seemed rather odd.  I have travelled extensively and I think I am culturally sensitive.  Has any one else among the rumour-mongers experienced this real or perceived Gestapo mentality when it came to otherwise innocuous  photographs.  I can understand one’s handlers in Pyongyang not allowing you to point your camera in a particular direction but when no apparent reason exists, a ‘police state’ mentality governing photography would be interesting.


Excellent photo, well done.  However, even though it's too late now, I would have paid very careful attention to your host if you ever planned on visiting that country again.  I'm not certain I would do so.

You may believe yourself culturally sensitive, and in the western sense you may very well be, but in this case I think you stepped on a geopolitical landmine.  You've just posted a photo that completely skewers one of the grand perceptions that middle eastern Islam has presented to the west - that the religious requirements that we in the west find so odd are pervasive throughout society, and that their womenfolk fully support them.

Those shoes are either a remarkable protest against that particular requirement of her religion, or a demonstration that those requirements are for public consumption only.  Neither plays well amongst the hard line religious folks who run those countries and who have an unpleasant habit of executing people who they believe have embarrassed them or disrespected their religion.  I think you just did both.

So yes, there really is something wrong with the photo, if you plan on ever returning to that part of the world.

As for the North Korea comparison, at least they're consistent with the western perspective.  They don't want photos showing how destitute their country is (politically embarrassing), or what their military is doing (could work against them in the next war, which they expect any moment).  Much easier to understand than religious thinking.

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 09:07:00 AM »

To be honest with the OP, I wouldn't even try this in a Glasgow shopping mall.

Any specific reason Paul? Other than the possibility that the lady in the picture was accompanied by a gorilla sized boyfriend.
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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 09:07:00 AM »

sanj

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2013, 09:51:05 AM »
I know the mentality of the non-residents of Dubai well. They are S___ scared of the locals and the authorities.
I find this photo to be a non issue.

Jay Khaos

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2013, 10:09:35 AM »
An ankle shot in Dubai is like a full nude in NYC...

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TexPhoto

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 10:12:40 AM »

Excellent photo, well done.  However, even though it's too late now, I would have paid very careful attention to your host if you ever planned on visiting that country again.  I'm not certain I would do so.

You may believe yourself culturally sensitive, and in the western sense you may very well be, but in this case I think you stepped on a geopolitical landmine.  You've just posted a photo that completely skewers one of the grand perceptions that middle eastern Islam has presented to the west - that the religious requirements that we in the west find so odd are pervasive throughout society, and that their womenfolk fully support them.

Those shoes are either a remarkable protest against that particular requirement of her religion, or a demonstration that those requirements are for public consumption only.  Neither plays well amongst the hard line religious folks who run those countries and who have an unpleasant habit of executing people who they believe have embarrassed them or disrespected their religion.  I think you just did both.

So yes, there really is something wrong with the photo, if you plan on ever returning to that part of the world.

As for the North Korea comparison, at least they're consistent with the western perspective.  They don't want photos showing how destitute their country is (politically embarrassing), or what their military is doing (could work against them in the next war, which they expect any moment).  Much easier to understand than religious thinking.

Definitely agree here.  Let me ask the OP this: Why didn't you approach the woman and show her your great photo?  Ask her to pose for you? If what you did was "culturally sensitive", why did you have to be secretive?

And it's not "referred to as Abaya". Your not wearing something on your torrso reffered to as a shirt, it's a shirt.  You sound like a British explorer discussing the savages you viewed while on Safari.

I live in a land of topless beaches, but whip out a big camera and lens, and the Police will stop by and explain "culturally sensitivity", possibly with a night stick.

JPAZ

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2013, 10:31:08 AM »
I am about to tick off some people, but feel the need to say a bit.  I have traveled, and continue to travel, to some remarkable places on the planet.  I have had the opportunity to travel to some of the holiest (insert your own definition here) Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist places on the planet.  Please withhold the commentary about my Western attitude or parochialism.

When in any part of the world, I try to adhere to local cultural and religious sensitivities.  I'd not enter a cathedral during services with a flash nor a Mosque without conservative attire and permission.  I generally ask people before I take their photo.  I take anyone's refusal to be photographed seriously. 

But, seeing a man with a pot belly, t-shirt and baggy jeans smoking a cigarette followed by a woman covered head to foot in fabric (and the appropriate number of paces behind) on a 40 degree Celcius day is not culture or religion.  It is repression and essentially slavery justified as culture and religion.  Once, as part of an educational experience a group of us (male and female) tried on this garb and I can tell you it is pretty miserable. 

So, that being said, I don't spend my $ in a place like Dubai.  I try to respect all people for their beliefs.  But, I do not support some of those beliefs.  This woman chose to wear those shoes.  Maybe that's her way of making a statement.  Someone in the background is clearly dressed in jeans with ankles showing.  I have no issue with this photo.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 10:44:28 AM by JPAZ »
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Your friend's advice was excellent
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2013, 10:50:15 AM »

When I showed it to my expat host, he said that I should be careful and not publicise this photo since, ‘Here, we are not free to do things as you would do in the West’.  This seemed rather odd.  I have travelled extensively and I think I am culturally sensitive.

Oh how naive you are! I find it best to be very respectful of a country's laws and social norms - I leave pushing the boundaries to the locals. This is kinda what culturally sensitive means.

From the Dubai Code of Conduct, written by the Dubai Executive Council and linked to on the official Dubai web portal (scroll to bottom of page) http://dubai.ae/en/Lists/Articles/DispForm.aspx?ID=147

4.5. Photography:

Photos of people - and especially photos of women and families - in public places shall not be taken without their permission. Taking photos of people is a sensitive issue in Dubai's local culture.


So you've got a photo of a woman wearing sexy shoes and showing her ankles & taken without her permission. Your only defence is "it doesn't show her face/she's not identifiable".

Your friend's advice was excellent.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 10:52:41 AM by Hesbehindyou »

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 10:51:27 AM »
I am about to tick off some people, but feel the need to say a bit.  I have traveled, and continue to travel, to some remarkable places on the planet.  I have had the opportunity to travel to some of the holiest (insert your own definition here) Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist places on the planet.  Please withhold the commentary about my Western attitude or parochialism.

When in any part of the world, I try to adhere to local cultural and religious sensitivities.  I'd not enter a cathedral during services with a flash nor a Mosque without conservative attire and permission.  I generally ask people before I take their photo.  I take anyone's refusal to be photographed seriously. 

But, seeing a man with a pot belly, t-shirt and baggy jeans smoking a cigarette followed by a woman covered head to foot in fabric (and the appropriate number of paces behind) on a 40 degree Celcius day is not culture or religion.  It is repression and essentially slavery justified as culture and religion.  Once, as part of an educational experience a group of us (male and female) tried on this garb and I can tell you it is pretty miserable. 


I'm not at all "ticked off," but I do find it a bit odd that you don't seem to realize that what you say in your third paragraph is a manifestation of the "Western attitude" mentioned in your first paragraph, not some objective, universal moral truth.

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 10:51:27 AM »

alexanderferdinand

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2013, 10:54:04 AM »
I would be very careful in a country, where you are not a member of the leading religious group like in Dubai.

If you are getting in trouble, youre rights dont mean very much. Youre some kind of a minor human being compared to the rights of someone with the "correct" religion.

You dont believe this?

An Austrian MD was leading a intensive care unit in Dubai.
He was accused killing someone by giving him morphin.
Didnt matter, if he was correct or not, they even didnt let him speak.
Sentenced him to death.

Never ever want to visit a country like this.

Be careful.

jdramirez

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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2013, 11:03:00 AM »
I am about to tick off some people, but feel the need to say a bit.  I have traveled, and continue to travel, to some remarkable places on the planet.  I have had the opportunity to travel to some of the holiest (insert your own definition here) Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist places on the planet.  Please withhold the commentary about my Western attitude or parochialism.

When in any part of the world, I try to adhere to local cultural and religious sensitivities.  I'd not enter a cathedral during services with a flash nor a Mosque without conservative attire and permission.  I generally ask people before I take their photo.  I take anyone's refusal to be photographed seriously. 

But, seeing a man with a pot belly, t-shirt and baggy jeans smoking a cigarette followed by a woman covered head to foot in fabric (and the appropriate number of paces behind) on a 40 degree Celcius day is not culture or religion.  It is repression and essentially slavery justified as culture and religion.  Once, as part of an educational experience a group of us (male and female) tried on this garb and I can tell you it is pretty miserable. 


I'm not at all "ticked off," but I do find it a bit odd that you don't seem to realize that what you say in your third paragraph is a manifestation of the "Western attitude" mentioned in your first paragraph, not some objective, universal moral truth.

 do you really want to have a philosophical debate about morality?   I'm pretty sure my minor in philosophy prepared me for a moment like this...  unless it was just blow off classes...  then it prepared me for Jack squat.
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Re: Reprimanded for a photograph
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2013, 11:03:00 AM »