The Creation of Sustainable Orientalism in Cinema

The Creation of Sustainable Orientalism in Cinema

Can Diker (Üsküdar University, Turkey) and Esma Koç (Independent Researcher, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7180-4.ch033
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The myth of modern culture's superiority to other cultures is instilled as a norm to the masses through the media. The myth of the cultural superiority of the West not only formed with the economic possibilities of the West but was also supported by the non-Western world by self-orientalism, thus becoming sustainable. While themes such as modernity, development, and technological superiority are watched within the scope of Hollywood films, several platforms have been created for non-US countries to watch alternative films. Although films known as European and World Cinema have the chance to show themselves at film festivals rather than film theatres, non-Western directors face a cultural challenge in these festivals due to the sociocultural structure of Western-based film festivals. In this study, by examining how non-Western directors are directed towards self-orientalism indirectly through festivals and funds, the relationship between the creation of sustainable orientalism in cinema and the political economy of the film industry will be revealed.
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Orientalism Politics And The Emergence Of Self-Orientalism

According to Said, Orientalism is a way of thinking based on the ontological and epistemological distinction between the West and the East, but it produced in a way that creates a negative perception towards the East by producing depictions in accordance with western-centric myths through cultural tools (media, cinema, art, literature, etc.). It also rearranges the relationship between West and East (2010, pp.2-5). Orientalism, which reduces non-Western identities to some basic elements due to these myths, causes people to adopt some biased ideas towards a geography they do not see and do not know and people living in that geography. Defining the oriental culture as the opposite of modern values ​​is also an indicator of what Europe is not culturally consists (Said, 2010, pp.68-77).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Orientalism: Orientalism is the imitation or depiction of aspects in the Eastern world, usually done by writers, designers, and artists from the Western world.

Cultural Industry: Economic field concerned with mass producing, reproducing, storing, and distributing cultural goods and services on industrial and commercial terms.

Mass Media: Tools for the transfer of information, concepts, and ideas to both general and specific audiences. Radio, Television, Cinema, Newspaper, Internet can be counted as mass media tools.

Film Festival: An organized, extended presentation of films in one or more cinemas or screening venues, usually in a single city or region.

Political Economy: Branch of social science that studies the relationships between individuals and society and between markets and the state, using a diverse set of tools and methods drawn largely from economics, political science, and sociology.

Self-Orientalism: The orientalisation of the Eastern world by itself.

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