The Idols of ISIS

The Idols of ISIS

Video of a talk by Aaron Tugendhaft at CMES, Berkeley

On February 26, 2015, the Islamic State released a video depicting the destruction of ancient sculptures in the Mosul Museum. The video announced that the sculptures were idols that needed to be destroyed, while international organizations countered that they belonged to Iraq, and to world heritage, and needed to be preserved. This talk will explore how religion, politics, and art intersect in this image of image destruction, and raise questions about the aesthetics of totalitarian governance in the age of the “selfie.”