Estemirova (1958-2009) was a Russian human rights
activist, working for the human rights organization Memorial. She was
particularly concerned with uncovering unjust punitive practices, and used her
position as a journalist to bring human rights violations to light.
She filmed short documentaries and took photographs that revealed the
effects of the Second Chechen War, especially on children. She was rewarded
with numerous international awards for her efforts. Sadly, she was abducted and
assassinated in 2009, and the attackers were never found.
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley photographed by
Dick Zimmerman, 1994.
Dick Zimmerman: Having spent an entire day with them, I saw some magical things. They talked to each other very quietly like lovers would. For the first shot, I told them to stand close. They immediately put their arms around each other and Lisa cuddled right up to Michael. I told Lisa to sit in a chair and Michael to kneel beside her. He put his arm around her and pulled her head to his chest, while Lisa tenderly took hold of his hand.
Between shots, they were whispering and giggling to each other. They were so happy it was hard to keep their attention on the camera. They were so much into each other.
They are so happy with the photos. Michael put Xs over the ones he liked, and the pages of photos were covered with Xs. But the loving ones with Lisa, showing their happiness, were his favorites.
“Michael Jackson’s one great and serious love affair was with his fans. A common exchange between Michael and a fan was: I love you Michael. I love you more.
Like any other celebrity, Michaels fans are steadfast and loyal but there is an element that goes beyond the worldly manifestation of fan clubs for other entertainers. The exchange between Michael and his fans is, well otherworldly. There is a tone surrounding Michaels fans that is hard to describe. Its as if each of them knows him personally, defends his reputation and his honor at any and every offence or assault, and they are kind and loving people. I began to read their postings as I began researching after his death and it became quickly evident that they all love him and believe implicitly in him and his character through everything that plagued this man throughout his lifetime. They have the facts; they have the evidence to back it all up. Because they follow everything about Michael, they have a context and a history that others are not privy to. Michael Jackson was and still is beloved. Agape? Of course. But he was and is beloved in the spiritual sense of the word. And it was not unrequited.
Michaels fans have followed every event of his life; they know every career turn; they know all the albums and lyrics; they have followed press reports about the superstar; they know all the data. But something else defines Michael Jackson fans and I am at a loss to convey in any understandable terms. There is an unusual almost ethereal communication among his fans and his relationship with them was highly unusual. It is hard to describe and even harder to understand. But there was an element of recognition—a love force or energy, an energetic exchange between Michael and his fans that transcends norms. It couldn’t be seen with the naked eye but it was there. Its as if they feel each other. Whatever it is or was, it is a new kind of language that the rest of us dont speak.
During the 2005 trial and at other times, Michael Jackson fans were described as rabid or in some way unreasonable. Often they were depicted as being a little or a lot loony but that is simply not the case. They also were thought to be so enamoured and blinded by the star that they abandoned all sense of propriety, reality or reason when it came to anything Michael. But that too, is simply not the case. MJ fans, as they call themselves know the man. They have a kind of advantage over the rest of society in understanding what non-fans and critics saw as eccentricities having simple and plausible explanations. To them it was Michael just being Michael. Because they know the history and have a fuller context of who Michael Jackson was. They have a mental timeline of who Michael was and what he did and there was a deeper understanding than the general public. They dont excuse his behavior or overlook it because there is no need to. They understood that Michael was different and they fully accept that and see it as a grand reason to love him even more. This historical knowledge and timeline does make a difference—it places events into a context unavailable to most.
Michael Jackson’s fans saw in Michael a light. A light, a love and a goodness that was a shroud that surrounded Michael’s being. He shone and his love was shimmering. Fans knew it because they could feel it. It was that real and that palpable. And it is because of Michael that they are committed to making the world a better place. Michael was the messenger. His fans now are the message. Watch. Listen. Learn. Meet a Force that means to change the world.”