Provocatively seated, legs apart is French philosopher, sociologist, social theorist, historian of ideas, literary critic and historian Michel Foucault. One of Foucault’s major works was ‘A History of Sexuality.’ Foucault was also on several occasions found in compromising situations. He is wearing a cravat in the shape of the HIV ribbon, echoing the fact that the cause of Foucault’s death in 1984 was AIDS. He replaces an unknown figure writing and dressed in red in Raphael’s School of Athens.
To Foucault’s left is British Indian novelist and essayist Salmon Rushdie. Their connection is their contrasting relationship with Iran. His fourth novel, ‘The Satanic Verses’, in 1988 provoked much controversy. Death threats were made against him, including a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on 14 February 1989.
Conversely, in 1979 Foucault made two tours of Iran, in support of the new interim government established soon after the Iranian Revolution. Foucault wrote in support of revolutionary figures such as Ayatollah Khomeini and Ali Shariati.
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