Simulacra and simulation : subverting colonial authority on the "real" oriental subject
Elise DK Feider
May 9, 2018
Department or Program
Over the course of 2015, the same year that Mosul, Iraq was declared the de facto capital of the caliphate, the Islamic State (ISIL) attacked more than forty-two cultural sites in the city. On February 26th of the same year, the group released a film on YouTube documenting the destruction of cultural artifacts at the Mosul Museum and the archaeological site of Kuyunjuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. The film was widely circulated in the Western popular press and online despite its removal by the group from YouTube the next day. The “international” community was eager to interpret and condemn the film. In the press, as online, the Mosul Museum iconoclasm was rendered yet another example of the apparent violence, religious intolerance, and cultural ignorance of Islam and groups like the Islamic State. This thesis analyzes the iconoclasm enacted at the Mosul Museum by the Islamic State.