This Is Not A President

- and as of yesterday, Bouteflika has at long last stepped down as the president of Algeria.

Stepping down is overstating it. He was wheelchair-bound and largely unseen and unheard in public from a stroke long before his present term. He was about to announce his fifth term, when enough was enough for the Algerians. The present wheelchair created by Amine Labter in 2017 was not directed at the wheelchair-bound in general. This was a specific situation in which the president was a useful prop for those actually in power. It is placed at a 3/4-angle full-scale portrait, yet it is empty and just a shadow, just as his presidency.

A portrait takes on an reality of the one portrayed, and had the not not been part of the statement, it would have been a provocation in itself, speaking in blunt terms. The presence of the NOT made it a situation of anger and call for action. And now art provoking reality has become reality.

Amine Labter, Ceci n'est pas un président, February 8, 2017.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Amine Labter and must not be reproduced without his permission.

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