We know that Mohammed Bouazizi lived in Sidi Bouzid and that he was often the sole income for a poor family. We know that he sold fruit from a cart and that, while vending on December 17th, 2010, he had an altercation with the police, and later doused himself in flammable liquid in front of the municipal offices and struck a match. There are some who know more – childhood friends, neighbors, customers, cousins – who knew the man and interacted with him over the course of his relatively short life. But for us, the general public of the World, to move beyond these spare details is to move into the realm of things-we-are-told, of facts intuited or debatable, because we never met Mohammed Bouazizi, did not see the confrontation on the 17th and were generally unaware that he existed until perhaps the first days of January 2011.
Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change
Jacobson, Alec, "Duality in Bouazizi: Appraising the Contradiction" (2011). Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. 1009.