Narrative Terrorism

Stone lithography 

Narrative Terrorism examines the effects of Orientalism and the colonial imagination on the value of the Arab body. The image on the right is selected from a series of postcards that French colonists in Algeria would stage, photograph, and send off to families and friends in France. These photographs both produced and reinforced the French Orientalist imagination of Algerian people and lifestyles. Body and culture is objectified and stereotyped, the violence of these staged images become commonplace as they are circulated as everyday objects. The left image features a well-known photograph from the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq where Iraqi people were subjected to illegal psychological and physical abuse. Here, during American/Western invasion of Iraq, the Arab body has no value. It is staged in an equally violent position and its image widely circulated in the early 2000s. The images are surrounded by a textile print which weaves together the fabric of a colonial narrative which has remained prevalent in Western media representations for centuries. A narrative which will no longer be tolerated.

The title of this piece references a phrase I first heard in Larissa Sansour’s short film In The Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain