HUMANITIES NOW FILM SCREENING
THE WORLD LIKE A JEWEL IN THE HAND—UNLEARNING IMPERIAL PLUNDER II travels over open books, looted objects, and postcards to look for the imperial foundations of the world in which we live. Within this wide landscape it focuses on the destruction of the Jewish Muslim world that existed in North Africa, making it imaginable and inhabitable again. Narrated in the first person, by an Algerian Jew and a Palestinian Jew, the film refuses imperial histories of those places. Objects and images held captive in museums and archives outside of the places from where they were looted are only the visible tip of the iceberg of the mass colonial plunder of Africa. This long and enduring ransack cannot be addressed only through the discourse of restitution, especially when arguments are made in support of the restitution of individual objects; rather, it requires a questioning of the imperial foundations of the world. The film looks at these objects as part of the substantial wealth accumulated through the extraction of raw materials, labor, knowledge, and skills, including the “visual wealth” attained by putting people in front of the colonizers’ cameras.
Post-screening discussion with the director.