Monday, June 21, 2010

Anti-American Art: Impervious to Jets

For the second anniversary of the American attack on Tripoli and Sirte, Libya issued a series of stamps practically deifying its leader Colonel Qaddafi. You can't see it on the scan, but that ornate detail around the picture of Qaddafi in the robes of a holy man is embossed gold metallic foil. While the inscription in mis-spelled English reads "2nd Anniversary of American Agression" the message is rather more focused on inducing worship of Libya's leader. He lives in a nomad's tent -- depicted here -- out back from the presidential palace, and the American attack ordered by President Reagan was in part an assassination attempt. Gaddafi was in the midst of his campaign to propagate a personal ideology around his barely readable "Green Book" (you can try it here): it's a collection of egalitarian platitudes designed to rationalize his absolute rule over the country.

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