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DYSTOPIA Photography and words: KRISTJAN-JAAK TAMMSAAR


It is easy to tune out ‘the other’, when news from around the world is blasted on our screens in an ever-flowing stream of violence and misery. ‘The other’ often wears bizarre clothes, speaks an unintelligible language, refers to God by a different name and lives far away. The constant portrayal of ‘the other’ as a victim may make us feel he is to blame for his circumstances, whereas it should be common sense that none of us choose the family, culture or religion we are born into. We cannot innocently hide behind the curtain of ignorance anymore, the separation between ‘us’ and ‘them’, ‘here’ and ‘there’ - an illusion that we are economically and emotionally


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invested to maintain. The growth of the military- industrial complex and the militarization of domestic law enforcement is a growing concern in the Western world. Nowhere is this more relevant than in Britain, with the upcoming London Olympics hosting the biggest


mobilisation of military and security forces in the UK since WWII.


The trouble is, once introduced, the new security and surveillance measures are likely to become part of the status quo. As in any other industry, the overlapping military and security sectors are constantly looking to expand. To do that


a constant threat needs to be maintained, or even fabricated. The communist ‘threat’ evolved into the Muslim ‘threat’, which in turn is evolving to include domestic protests, such as the Occupy movement and the ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous.


Words alone can deceive the public and be as powerful as weapons. Instead of


communicating and clarifying, the preferred vocabulary of the state seems to consist largely of euphemisms and pretentious diction - doublespeak deliberately designed to conceal the real implications of what is being said. Mass murder morphs into “collateral damage” and torture into “enhanced interrogation


methods”. George Orwell recognized this back in 1946, writing: “Political language [...] is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”


This fictional narrative, told in captions, combined with real photos of public rallies and demonstrations in London, may seem implausible at times. The aim is not to give a precise prediction of events to come, but rather to connect two sites of human experience by “bringing the war back home” and creating a visceral identification with ‘the others’ around the world suffering under real totalitarian regimes


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