Into the European Mirror, the second book from Montreal film and video producer Julian Samuel’s triolgy, follows the quest of The Raft of the Medusa (Black Rose Books, 1993), further developing a discussion of Occidental modernity by exploring the connections between the emergence of national identities and the exclusion and expulsion of minorities: of ‘others.’
The book explores instances of nationalism and expulsion from Damascus to London and Montreal scritinizes how Islam was demonized in the European mind; and draws a provocative line from late fifteenth century Cordoba to twentieth-century Palestine and Bosnia.
Though the times have changed, the enforcement of national identity as a single ethnic and religious identity remains cruelly the same. In addition to the transcript of Samuel’s tape, and to the interviews, this book includes an examination of the mechanics of the ‘video essay’.
Into the European Mirror is a work about real and imaginary frontiers, and how the one becomes the other.
This is the most polished of Julian Samuel’s recent excursions into the colonial encounter the long and complex construction of Europe as an identifiable cultural body and it probes, as well, the perils of nationalism based on single identity. – Now Magazine
Aruna Handa is a fiction writer, and is currently on a Shastri Fellowship at the University of Poona. While in Montréal, she worked as a researcher for CBC Radio and the Québec Public Interest Group.
John Kipphoff is currently doing research in India on the involvement of Dalits the untouchables in Indian politics.
Julian Samuel is a film and video maker, a visual artist, and fiction writer from Montréal. A transcript and discussion of The Raft of the Medusa: Five Voices on Colonies, Nations and Histories, his first film on colonialism, was published by Black Rose Books.