Stefan Ibrahim. I dream of gardens in the desert sand - images of the Orient in popular culture

Plate building pyramid ©Stefan Ibrahim
Plate building pyramid ©Stefan Ibrahim
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An audiovisual lecture explores the view of the supposedly Oriental through often seen and rarely questioned set pieces of popular culture of recent decades, inviting us to recognize old narratives and discover new connections.

The concept of the Orient can be understood as the historical idea of uniting in just one term all the geographical, ethnic, linguistic, political and religious aspects of a large part of the earth. A considerable part even, to which one counted at times no less than the entire Asian and African continent as well as large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe. However, a rather simple-minded idea. We know that today.

Grown out of the ancient understanding of an Orient and an Occident, such pairs of terms were classically used for classification, but also for demarcation. For the longest time, an incompatibility of value systems, cultures and religious affiliations was derived from this, but in a globalized world, at the latest, everything that is "foreign," no matter how "foreign," is again tested for its marketing potential.

This often results in the adoption of cultural characteristics, expressions and artifacts of other cultures, subcultures or communities by a majority that positions itself as mainstream. Pop music, in particular, has been confronted with the accusation of the incessant reproduction of such mechanisms since its emergence. Even if more and more often spaces for critical approaches are created, there is a persistent dispute about interpretive sovereignties, authorship and authenticity. Basically, it is worthwhile to distinguish between genuine assimilation processes and non-consensual appropriations.

Admission free, donations requested



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