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Image for Swiss eyes on Syria's pretty as a picture president (9 images)

Swiss eyes on Syria's pretty as a picture president (9 images)

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While Syria enters its second year of civil war, Swiss photographer Nicolas Righetti finds himself with a different conflict. His book The Future Is Rosy (L'Avenir en Rose), to be published in September 2012, compiles portraits of Bashar al-Assad dating back to 2007. At that time, the country was in full electoral fever, re-electing al-Assad by referendum as leader of the country. In Damascus his presence was everywhere: in drawings, on posters, on tarpaulins measuring 10 metres by 10 metres. Righetti’s work juxtaposes these portraits with phrases taken from the speeches that al-Assad gave from the beginning of the uprising: 'modern and reassuring portraits juxtaposed against quotations about the struggle and the fall,'as the 45-year-old world press photo award winner writes

Bashar, We Knew Him Well

'We have never said that we were a democratic country' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Bachar Mirror

'What is important is the way in which Syrians look at you. I do not need to look at myself' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Bashar Iron Man

'We must strike the terrorists with an iron fist' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Bashar, Do-it-all President

'I am not a man who flees his responsibilities' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Bashar Normal President

'When I go to work, I drive myself to the palace' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Bashar Puts His Foot Down

'No government in the world would kill its people. Unless it was run by a madman' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Bashar The Poet

'They wanted to make this land of love, peace and harmony, a land of destruction, murder and chaos' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Bashar Works Flat Out

'I will soon declare my victory over the enemy forces' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Bachar The Innocent

'I have done my best to protect the people. I cannot feel guilty' (Image: © Nicolas Righetti)

Story by

Matthieu Amaré

Je viens du sud de la France. J'aime les traditions. Mon père a été traumatisé par Séville 82 contre les Allemands au foot. J'ai du mal avec les Anglais au rugby. J'adore le jambon-beurre. Je n'ai jamais fait Erasmus. Autant vous dire que c'était mal barré. Et pourtant, je suis rédacteur en chef du meilleur magazine sur l'Europe du monde.

Translated from La Syrie et Bachar el-Assad : un Avenir en roses