One image of each pair is from an islamist propaganda video, the second is the result of a quick web search for an image with a similar gesture. It is quite fascinating to see how, using the same medium, different groups grow closer in their visual expression. It is quite irritating to look at material from an ISIS related source and encounter a scene that is clearly inspired by Bruce Lee. And if this video is then uploaded to YouTube, the confusion is complete.

To think that ISIS and Co appropriate the western image canon is a little bit short sighted, since both sides seem to utilize the same canon. Take for example the pair with the two guys looking like TV reporters. Neither the sport reporter from the US, nor the media representative from the Islamic State are truly authentic. Both merely enact a role they deem best for the situation.

Athens Photo Festival 2017
Main Programme

[Role Play]

Simon Menner (DE)
Role Models

Opening: Wednesday 14 June, 2017
Duration: 14 June – 30 July, 2017

Venue: Benaki Museum, Pireos St. Annexe
Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday: 11:00-21:00, Thursday: 11:00-23:00,
Friday-Sunday: 11:00-21:00