The “Blue bra girl” comes back as a masked avenger

January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

After #opBlitzkrieg, targeting neo-Nazis in Germany‎, Anonymous is launching now through AnonTranslator via its blog (and in different languages) bluebra.anontranslator.eu, Operation Blue Bra Girl, also known as #Opbluebra on Twitter.

This comes after a female protester in Tahrir Square, in Egypt, got beaten up by military police and was dragged along the ground half-naked, revealing a stark blue bra.

This shocking event triggered outrage and thousands of women took to the streets brandishing newspapers with the picture of the “Blue bra girl”, as she became known, on its front page.

Also used as a drawing with text on a placard:

The “Blue bra girl’s” image went viral, across the globe and the blogosphere, instantly becoming a powerful icon of women’s oppression, as well as a symbol of the sheer brutality of the military against protesters. Protesters are blaming the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, usually referred to as SCAF, and some are demanding  the resignation of Tantawi, its commander-in-chief.

She’s also been compared by a Lebanese blogger to a modern-day Hypatia, a mythical “protester” in pharaonic Egypt.

The “Blue bra girl” has also been taken up  by professional cartoonists. One of them is Carlos Latuff, a cartoonist from Brazil, who created the figure of a “masked avenger”, wearing a blue bra and a black abaya partially covering her face, like a mask.

He turned her into some sort of super hero fighting back against injustice. She’s not lying on the ground anymore as a defenseless victim, but is standing up for her rights, flying into the air. She’s fighting back with a vengeance, giving a kung fu style high-kick to a military police, who’s grimacing with pain, teeth clenched and blood spurting out of his mouth.

The “Blue bra girl” is some sort of figure of female empowerment, such as “The Bride” in her bright yellow skin-tight outfit,  in Quentin Tarantino’s feature film “Kill Bill”.

Part of Latuff’s work has been focusing on the Arab Spring and you can follow him on Twitter at @CarlosLatuff  or view his blog, http://latuffcartoons.wordpress.com/, and even download some images, which are re-appropriated mainly by protesters and activists across the Arab World and beyond.

Anonymous’ decision to wear a mask, in this case a Guy Fawkes’ one, was quite prescient, as it’s in a way the image we have now of the “protester”, the “person of the year in 2011”, as claimed by Time Magazine.

Let’s not forget the “real woman” behind the image, who’s also simply referred to as “Tahrir Woman”, and whose identity has been kept secret for her own safety, according to Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy, who’s been witnessing and experiencing such violence in Tahrir square.

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