ISIS, HERITAGE, AND THE SPECTACLES OF DESTRUCTION IN THE GLOBAL MEDIA.
PublisherAmerican Schools of Oriental Research
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This paper focuses on ISIS’s recent destruction of archaeological heritage in Iraq and its (self-) representation in the global media. It is argued that the Islamic State’s destruction of archaeological sites and museums as well as historical monuments and local shrines can be seen as a form of place-based violence that aims to annihilate the local sense of belonging, and the collective sense of memory among local communities, to whom the heritage belongs. It is also suggested that the Islamic State coordinates and choreographs these destructions as mediatic spectacles of violence aimed at objects and sites of heritage, which take place as re-enactments or historical performances that are communicated to us through ISIS’s own image-making apparatus that utilizes advanced technologies of visualization and communication.