Palmyra: Violence in Syria and the Ruins of Empire

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017
With Bill Keach

The many forms of horrific violence in the war in Syria include destruction by ISIS of 2000-year-old monuments in the ancient city of Palmyra. This destruction has received considerable media attention, almost all of which laments the damage to these “cultural treasures” that are the “common inheritance of all humanity." Little is said about what has happened to the Syrians now living in Palmyra—or more generally about what it means to care about art and culture during a time of war. This talk will focus on the contradictory ways in which imperialism exploits art and culture and appropriates them in its drive for political domination.

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