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02 May 2014

Picture of the Week

Posted on May 2, 2014 by

They say a picture tells a thousand words. Welcome to the new weekly post on the Aberfield blog where we will be picking the most influential picture from the past week. Whether it has dominated the media landscape, caught the public’s imagination and gone viral or is simply a brilliant illustration of a story, we’ll bring it your attention. This week, it’s all about visual symbology. Well, sort of.

We’ve chosen the now iconic image of Brazil and Barcelona full back Daniel Alves eating a banana during a football game. It may seem a fairly innocuous picture but when you look, metaphorically, at what the banana represents and what Dani Alves did, as well as the coverage that followed, it takes on a much greater meaning.

Another victim of the horrific racist abuse that unfortunately is rife in certain football leagues, Dani Alves proverbially stuck two fingers up at the assailant who threw a banana at him, transforming a taunt into an empowering anti-racism moment in less than five seconds – by nonchalantly picking it up and eating it.

His actions sparked a global reaction that devalued the significance of throwing a banana as a symbol of racism. Upon seeing the act of defiance, Alves’ stance went viral and was replicated by fellow professionals, politicians and celebrities who uploaded #selfies of themselves eating bananas as a mark of solidarity, support and empowerment. Naturally, the positive influence of the celebrities’ images also went viral creating the news agenda.

This image did more to highlight racism in football than most campaigns, and the buffoon who threw the banana on to the pitch would have dreamed of. A picture really does tell a thousand words.

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