Virtual Identities
Palazzo Strozzi
  Strozzina
       
         

 

 

For Virtual Identities, CCC Strozzina and the German-Iranian photojournalist Diana Djeddi present I am Neda, a project that retells the story of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman shot to death in 2009 during the protests in Iran. Her death was recorded by an anonymous witness with a mobile phone and published on the internet where it quickly became the most-watched video on the freedom movement on the internet, turning the killed Neda into its emblem.
As somebody in the video can be heard shouting the girl’s name, albeit indistinctly, the search to establish her identity commenced immediately. Unfortunately an error ensued, with a basically apolitical English literature teacher named Neda Soltani mistakenly identified as the murdered woman via her Facebook profile. Her photo was published by the international media and used as a rallying cry for the revolt. The mistaken Neda thus became a public figure and her photograph was downloaded, modified and virally spread by internet users all over the world. The Iranian regime reacted by trying to label the video of the dying Neda Agha-Soltan as propaganda by the western media while strongly pressuring Neda Soltani to admit that she was an actor and collaborator. The young woman had to flee the massive pressure. She now lives as a political refugee in Germany.
Neda Soltani’s story is representative of the logic of online communication, based on the rapid sharing of fragments of information that are not always verified causing misinterpretation. Her loss of control over the content that she herself had uploaded to the internet and therefore over her public image reveals the principle of flows of information, images and news that acquire autonomous dynamics that can no longer be controlled as soon as they are made available to the online public. In other words, with a certain degree of public exposure, the individual loses control over the right to the privacy of his or her own image, and with it a part of his or her personal identity.
In 2009 the photo reporter Diana Djeddi was covering the Iranian presidential election for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Ever since, by promotion of VG-Bildkunst, she has worked on the importance and influence of social media on journalism which has dramatically increased, making the topic of archiving digital contents a crucial aspect of current journalistic work.


Installation view at CCC Strozzina, Firenze
Photo: Martino Margheri





    EVAN BADEN
CHRISTOPHER BAKER
NATALIE BOOKCHIN
ROBBIE COOPER
etoy.CORPORATION
NICHOLAS FELTON
LES LIENS INVISIBLES
CHRIS OAKLEY
SOCIABLE MEDIA GROUP
MICHAEL WOLF
Special project: I AM NEDA
Special project: ME 2.0


         
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