Traveler's photo backs demonstrators' tales of corruption

News of escalating protests and violence in Egypt is being followed closely by many at UW-Green Bay, including Stephen Perkins, curator of art. Perkins traveled to Egypt with his family in 2009.

With anti-government demonstrators focusing anger against what they say is endemic public corruption, Perkins was moved to retrieve this image from his archives, and share it with others.

“This photo was taken in the summer of 2009 in Khan el-Khalil in central Cairo,” he writes. ” My family had just got into a taxi to take us to the suburbs, but before the taxi driver could even move from the taxi stand he had to pay a bribe to a traffic policeman. Once the money was handed over we were free to go.”

No one objected to Perkins photographing the exchange, which had the appearance of normal routine. Clearly visible in the photo, Perkins points out, are the wad of cash in the taxi driver’s hand and the money in the officer’s hand.

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