Iran Protest

by Adam Popescu

Pietro Masturzo, Iran 2009

During the massive street protests of June 24, 2009, 29-year-old Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo captured this moment of rapture from a rooftop in Tehran, Iran.

Masturzo, who’s worked as a professional photographer for a grand old three years is the 2009 Premier World Press Photo winner.

On why this picture won, jurist Katie Edwards told Agence France Press reporters: “The photo has a powerful sense of atmosphere, tension, fear —but also of quietness and calm, and in this sense was a challenge as a choice. We were looking for an image that drew you in, took you deeper, made you think more—not just about showing what we already know, but something that asks more of us.”

Imagine being able to go on your roof and seeing your country imploding on the streets below you—would you go up there and look? Would you be too scared? Imagine being a journalist and working in those conditions.

Iran’s brutal regime continues its campaign to silence the young and educated: students, artists, educators, journalists— intellectuals the government calls subversives. As people protest, and fight police on the street, Ahmadinejad and Khomeini continue to squeeze the glove tighter, causing suffering on a massive scale.

In a country where it can cost you your life to work as a journalist, il spettacolo di Pietro Masturzo. Bravo ragazzo.

—Adam Popescu