Orientalism / Edward W. Said

Edward Said, Palestinian intellectual, literary theorist, historian of the colonial narrative explains how colonialism works. Not just through armies, but through literature. Not just through conquest, but through anthropology. Not just through oppression but justified through narrative. He shows how the West painted a picture of the ‘East’. Snake charmers, belly dancers, thieves… The exotic, the sensual, the depraved… Said saw it in 19th century Western literature and you can see it across modern culture. Switch on the news, read the newspapers, look at the images… What stories are you being told? ‘Us’ versus ‘them’, the ‘rational’ versus the ‘irrational’, civilization versus barbarism… Africans as corrupt despots, starving victims… Arabs as terrorists, misogynists… How does it feel to be fixed, captured, framed?

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