Mali Skull soldier scandal : the story behind the photo

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the skull sodier photo taken by Issouf Sanogo / AFP is now quite famous, but not so well understood as to do so, you probably need to hear the photographers explanation of how this photo was taken.

While the French army is on war to help mali getting rid of extremists, the now famous photograph “the soldier skull” invades the Internet and causes chain reactions. Today, on the blog “information backstage” of the AFP explains the the circumstances in which this photo was taken and gave the floor to the photographer who will, as you will see, put the scope of symbols some were able to see in that photo (that I find gorgeous and deep by the way).

It is certainly a $10 scarf, merchandising product of the video game Call of Duty that was worn by the French soldier photographed by Issouf Sanogo, an AFP photographer, in what we can see a scene death, which provoked reactions that can be described disproportionate once enlightened with the behind the scenes of its realization.

Very simply and down to Earth, on the AFP blog “the info backstage“, the photographer described the conditions of the shooting that led to this photo. He was just beside French soldiers located on a vacant lot near Niono, Mali, when a French army helicopter was landing and therefore lifted large quantities of dust. Consequently, and logically, the soldiers in the area of this important cloud of dust have obviously put their scarves over their faces to protect themselves. This photo was taken a few minutes before sunset, the light is beautiful and the photographer sharp eye did not take long to spot this pretty light light filtering through the leaves magnified by the dustof the helicopter and the soldier who wore an original scarf. The photographer then triggered his camera without staging anything. There was no desire to give a macabre atmosphere and no, the soldier did not take himself as a death angel. He was simply trying to protect himself.

 

the skull sodier photo taken by Issouf Sanogo / AFP is now quite famous, but not so well understood as to do so, you probably need to hear the photographers explanation of how this photo was taken.
the skull sodier photo taken by AFP photoreporter Issouf Sanogo is now quite famous, but not so well understood as to do so, you probably need to hear the photographers explanation of how this photo was taken.

 

In the emotional amplifier than can be sometimes an uninformed Internet, this image has provoked strong reactions, even till Paris Army staff, whose spokesman even described the behavior of this soldiers as “not acceptable”. Issouf Sanogo, the photographer, learned with astonishment that this photo had unleashed the wrath of many observers and that the army wanted to trace the identity of the soldier back. The photographer himself says: “I believe, and I hope it will be impossible to identify him. I’m not even sure he is aware of what people tell on his back!”.

Undoubtedly putting such a scarf in his package is questionable and an obvious lack of taste when once embarks in an armed conflict, but the fuss created by the “skull soldier” photo, as it is named now, is way disproportionate in the light of the photographer’s explanations .