This insighful docu-interview by Professor Sut Jhally (University of Massachusetts) explores must-have critical and post-colonial text Orientalism (1978) by Edward Said, from the perspective of the scholar himself. Succinctly clarifying “orientalism” as: “the creation of an ideal ‘Other’ for Europe”, Said re-contextualises his monumentally influential work two decades after its first publication date in the late 1970s, addressing 1990s Islamophobia, terrorism and Western perceptions of the Middle East. Said also explains Orientalism’s place alongside his other texts The Question of Palestine (1979) and Covering Islam (1981).
Although the interview was conducted almost 20 years go, many of Said’s observations and conclusions would remain intact given the West’s current relationship with the Islamic world generally and the Middle East more specifically. Therefore, this is enlightening to watch and listen to, giving food for thought on how we simplify the world around us and the potential dangers in doing so.