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Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

Flipping Perceptions

The Author By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | March 16th, 2007 | Comments No Comments

“How the world sees you depends on how you see the world,” begins a provocative ad campaign gracing London’s Heathrow Airport’s walls. Several sets of 4 posters juxtapose 2 similar images and 2 single-word taglines. For example, a photo of a celebrity fending off paparazzi, palms out, hands covering face, has the tagline “INFORMATIVE.” The next photo shows a pack of hungry paparazzi, cameras flashing, with the tagline “INTRUSIVE.” The following photo shows the paparazzi repeated with the tagline “INFORMATIVE,” and the last photo repeats the reluctant celebrity with the tagline “INTRUSIVE.”

Hit the pause button and think about this for a minute. The first 2 photos/taglines depict how the celebrity and paparazzi are typically characterized.

Now, flip it.

My favorite photo/word pairing is a long, skinny, dangerously red chili pepper and a long, skinny, red come-hither spiked high heel with the words “PAIN” and “PLEASURE” transposed.

After 23 travel hours in airports and airplanes, of flashing passport, charming customs agents, and relinquishing unopened water bottles at security, I’d like to propose an addition to Heathrow’s ads: A photo of a woman standing spread-eagle being “wanded” at a security checkpoint with the tagline “SECURE,” next to a photo of a close-up of the TSA agent intent on her wanding with the tagline “SCARED.” Then, the TSA agent photo repeated with “SECURE,” followed by the passenger, “SCARED.”

Sometimes, how you see the world depends on how the world sees you.

I’ve landed in Israel and Palestine.

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