Suvarna Garge (Editor)

The Girl in the Blue Bra

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The Girl in the Blue Bra was violently beaten in Cairo, Egypt after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 ousting Hosni Mubarak from Presidency. Her bright blue bra was the only identification of her body, with images of her assault by Egyptian military men flooding the internet.

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Background

After the January 25, 2011 Egyptian Revolution, there was still a lot of civil unrest at the takeover of government by the Egyptian military SCAF. Tahrir Square was the site for the Egyptian revolution and also the site for smaller revolutionary groups to ask SCAF to step down and allow for a civilian transitional government. Through video and photo evidence, the woman was running from SCAF forces when she was grabbed by military men. Another protester tried to assist her until he was beaten with batons and could no longer help. The woman's black abaya came undone during the attack and exposed her jeans, stomach and blue bra. Repeatedly stomped, the woman was assaulted until she seemed to be unconscious.

Global response

As the internet circulated the image, large international broadcasting companies spread the story. CNN, National Post and NPR to name a few, covered the Girl in the Blue Bra. Hillary Clinton even went on the record about this issue stating "systematic degradation of Egyptian women [which] dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform, and is not worthy of a great people." In response to the violent treatment, thousands of Egyptians marched into Tahrir Square later in December 2011 including the largest number of women in decades.

Visual injustice symbol

The Girl in the Blue Bra was described as a "visual injustice symbol" by Thomas Olesen in a 2013 paper on the subject. This term means a symbol for a larger phenomenon, like the unjust treatment of SCAF and the Egyptian Military on the people of Egypt. The visualization of a victim gives a face to the often faceless issues. This term was originally used with Khaled Said, a key component to sparking the Arab Spring earlier in 2011.

References

The Girl in the Blue Bra Wikipedia


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