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    Posted July 15, 2014 by

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    The Curious Case of Essam Al Fetori: Chapter 1

    Because I am a person who loves to photograph everything and anything Libyan, I am one of the few who knows the name Essam al Fetori. Very few know his name yet all of America knows his work.

    Too few Americans have stopped to ask where the pictures of the fiery September 11, 2012 attack actually came from. If America closes its eyes & thinks of the Benghazi attack, what pictures come to mind? There is one picture and it is the same found over and over again when searching Google Images of Benghazi:

    It is of a young man, early to mid-thirties dancing around in various poses in a wide strapped white wife beater, brandishing an AK-47 in one hand, gesturing with the other.

    He stands in what seems at first glance to be the darkest of Benghazi nights, nearly silhouetted against a wall of flames that begins at the end of the driveway in which he stands alone. Striking poses for the camera. For the photographer. He is as husky as he is horrible with his greasy hair seeming to merge with dense black smoke billowing above as if Dante’s Inferno raged just for him, just behind him, in Benghazi.

    Who is this dancing madman? And why is he not Silhouetted? How did the photographer get so close? He seems to have arrived with the attackers from his photographs of lone subjects, posing for images that very suspiciously & instantaneously were ready for America before even the fighting was done.

    What powers do the photographs of Essam al Fetori hold over the American Psyche? Have they stolen the American Soul?
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