An Epic Boxing Match Between Muhammad Ali And George Foreman Essay

1011 Words Feb 13th, 2016 5 Pages
The “Rumble in the Jungle,” an epic boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, staged in Zaire on October 30, 1974, was more than just a sporting event. It was a cultural phenomenon that brought together African and African American culture for the whole world to see. This complex and multi-faceted event was captured by many photographers and film makers, including Sonia Katchian. One of Katchian’s photographs in particular serves as a microcosm of the fight, capturing the violence, beauty, and meaning of the moment. Katchian’s image is arresting. It shows two statuesque figures locked in combat, like gods from an ancient myth. But this stunning study in black and white depicts actual men.
To fully appreciate Katchian’s photo and the moment it captures, it is necessary to first appreciate the nature of the fight and the historical and cultural context in which it took place, before analyzing the photograph itself. The fight was held in Zaire because the country’s dictator, Mobutu Sésé Seko, had convinced Don King to create a festival of African and African-American sports and culture. (It helped that Sésé Seko gave King briefcases of cash.) Foreman and Ali were initially set to fight on September 25th, but Ali suffered a cut near his eye during training and the fight had to be postponed for a month. This only heightened the mania of African fans, as suspense for the fight built. Both Ali and Foreman lived and trained in Zaire during that month, which would…

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