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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Deconstructing Western Consumptions about Otherness (Essay Sample)


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Deconstructing Western Consumptions about Otherness
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In “The Imperial Imaginary,” authors Stam and Shohat assert that through film, the imperialist perspective has caused non-European peoples’ stories to incorporate more stereotyped or villainous narratives than their actual historical accounts. This imperialist viewpoint urges its’ audience to support progress and regard anything that appears to be a hindrance as “mean-spirited adversaries of the advancing train of progress.” The viewer is persuaded to identify with the European heroes because “the viewpoint consistently favors the Euro-American protagonist; their desires drive the narrative, they are centered in pans, frames, camera tracks, and cranes to support their viewpoint.” Due to this prejudiced identification, the viewer “receives a stereotyped historical depiction of western imperialism and colonialism.” Stam and Shohat assert that these films cause individuals to see the exclusion of Native Americans as a justified method of keeping progress on track.
Once the population of imperialistic nations became enraptured and enthralled by cinemas, the filmmakers/imperialists could show anything in a way they sought best. This power put filmmaking countries in the lead for imperialism and they were now able to expose foreign peoples to their heart’s content. Native Americans were frequently depicted as superficial savages in film to vindicate the deeds of white heroes. The colonial perspective of progress produced these images to establish a sense of patriotism throughout the society and keep Native Americans marginalized; they are viewed as the obstacles to progress/advancement and therefore the rivals of the nation.
“The Imaginary Orient” by Linda Nochlin reveals how Orientalism was constructed and understood through Western expectations and values, which describe

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