Home Sociology Orientalism Revisited: Art, Land and Voyage
How have the 9/11 events, together with the global financial crisis, remodeled our understanding of Europe and the West? Also, how does Europe view itself in relation to the rest of the world, and more particularly the Maghreb? Many argue that, while the French-Maghrebi situation was improving by the 1990s, it suffered a huge setback following 9/11. During the 1990s, particularly in major cosmopolitan cities such as London and Paris, the melding of cultures was producing a society in which the creation of an ‘Other’, though not totally eliminated, was at least minimized. Both active discrimination and the more passive or less perceptible stereotyping have increased dramatically in the years following 9/11, when discrimination has become religion-based, as opposed to racially or ethnically based as it was in the past. As a result, stereotyping can have a pernicious effect on individuals that is as disruptive to the formation of identity and a sense of belonging as direct discrimination can be, precisely because it is subtle and pervasive.
One question to pose is: what do Europe’s new and/or continuing internal divisions say about its own differentiated colonial histories? And is it possible for Europe to conceive of itself as a ‘post-colonial’ space? How is Europe situated within current East-West and North-South cultural debates as shaped by the 9/11 events? And how do all these dilemmas shape the East-West, almost becoming Muslim-Christian relations/encounters? I would like to end this essay with a quote from Khatibi’s Amour Bilingue. He says:
And if sometimes the triumphant Occident was singing its Nietzschean loss, what would happen to me and my culture?
[ ... ] To love the Other is to speak of the lost space of memory, and my insurrection which in an earlier time was nothing but a history imposed on me, now perpetuates itself in an acknowledged resemblance, for the Occident is part of me, a part that I can only deny insofar as I resist all the ‘Occidents’ and all the ‘Orients’ that oppress and disenchant me.76
|< Prev||CONTENTS||Next >|