A child in a suitcase: behind the X-ray


Mediapart’s resident singer and songwriter La Parisienne Libérée regularly contributes a critical review of current affairs in music, images and text. Here she returns to the story of Adou Ouattara, an eight-year-old Ivorian boy who was discovered on May 7th hidden in a suitcase carried by a Moroccan woman crossing the border into Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta. Adou was found after the baggage was X-rayed, and the disturbing image of the scan was later published around the world. La Parisienne Libérée takes up the story from there.

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A shocking image was published across the internet on May 8th this year. It was an X-ray image, showing the body of an African child curled up in a suitcase. It is high time for a critical review of this propaganda operation by the Spanish interior ministry and the Guardia Civil, which was widely relayed by press agencies. Wasn’t it obvious that this medical-like image was degrading for the child? Was it really about contraband, as was written here and there? Why did the child end up in the suitcase?