Video

Oriental Tutorial

Rah

2013, 02:48 minutes, Colour, English

TAPECODE 1083.02

Oriental Tutorial, is a Youtube tutorial parody. Youtube tutorials have become a common way to disseminate and obtain information about many things including beauty. I use this model to address contemporary political issues and to stimulate dialogue surrounding the stereotypical misrepresentation of Middle-Easterners in the Western media. I strategically use humour and the tutorial approach to seduce the viewer and as a communicative tool.

The character Fatimeh begins the tutorial naked and nonchalantly addresses the viewer. She is instructing them on how to dress like an “Oriental.” Fatimeh is comfortable with her body and returns and confronts the spectator’s gaze. While using humour, she challenges the romanticizing and dehumanizing images of Middle-Easterners in Western visual culture.

Fatimeh is seen in a clothing store removing items from the racks and begins dressing herself in traditional Iranian garments. This traditional garment is worn in the northern region of Iran called Shomal. This style of clothing consist of many layers including: pant, skirt, blouse, vest and head wrap. Fatimeh ends the video clothed in these traditional garments and shakes her hand and sends the viewer an arabic blessing, “Mash’Allah,” a term used to express appreciation and respect.

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