Angela Merkel's visit to Athens in October 2012 went down in social media history under the code name #ΜΑΤ1236, after the registration number of the riot policeman [MAT in Greek] who, during clashes with protesters, used a young woman as a human shield. This action by the policeman, whose identity details are unknown, was the inspiration for an original, timely photo exhibition in the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland.
The photo exhibition #ΜΑΤ1236 presents images of the ever-increasing brutality of the Greek police, with, at its centre, the picture of the female human shield.
The exhibition was inaugurated in Helsinki on 2 May but was previously hosted in three other European countries. The open invitation for the inauguration asked visitors to evaluate developments in Greece and the rest of Europe in the light of skyrocketing police brutality.
"What happens in a society where citizens fear the police? What will happen to you next time you go out to protest?" These were two essential questions put forward to those who would attend the inauguration.
The discussion also included topics such as the crucial role played by the media and the contribution of citizen journalism in recording cases of police brutality.