Middle East Insights 30

Staging History: Cinematic Narratives of Iraq and its Artifacts

The self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) released a video depicting the destruction of artifacts in the Mosul Museum in order to stage a complex media performance of the staged erasure of “Iraqi heritage” and “world heritage” for mass audiences. This deliberate spectacle of destruction works to register cultural violence with global reverberations and, as the essay discusses, fits into a deep set of postcolonial narratives on archaeological heritage in Iraq.