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Living in a conspiracy theory in Trump's America

32 0 0
01.11.2018

Who ordered the brutal assassination of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and why? Did you know there is a link between Jamal Khashoggi's murder and Princess Diana? Who really sent pipe bombs to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, CNN in New York, and half a dozen other Democratic opponents of Donald Trump and why?

Was this not a Democratic conspiracy to distract attention from the midterm elections? Are there "Middle Eastern terrorists" hiding among the caravan of thousands of migrants making its way through Mexico towards the United States? And while we are at it, who killed JFK anyway? And who is behind 9/11? Wasn't that "an inside job?" And more importantly: Is Donald Trump an alien in a human body - sent by some evil extra-terrestrial monster to destroy the earth?

I walked into New York's Met Breuer museum of modern and contemporary art one chilly October morning to see their extraordinary exhibition Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy, wondering whence this penchant for conjuring up bizarre conspiracy theories?

"For the last fifty years," the curators of this new exhibition at the Met Breuer inform us, "artists have explored the hidden operations of power and the symbiotic suspicion between the government and its citizens that haunts Western democracies." We need no convincing of that in Trump's America, or Europe after Brexit, or the Arab World after the Jamal Khashoggi murder, or Iran after British colonialism, or Turkey after the most recent attempted coup.

We in the Arab and Muslim world live and breathe conspiracy theories. It is a sigh of relief, a measure of our defence mechanism against the frightful sight of the cannibals of ISIL, butchers of Saudi Arabia, the Zionist conquest of Palestine and daily genocide of Palestinians, Erdogan taking selfies as the champion of free press, the ruling clergy in Iran happy no one is paying closer attention to the butchery of their own political opponents. Of course, this is all a conspiracy - how else can one explain all this dance macabre of fact and fiction?

"Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy, the first major exhibition to tackle this perennially provocative topic." Citizens of the republic at the heart of the US Empire, lo and behold, are as much prone to such delicious theories as the rest of us mortals at its colonial edges. It is good to know.

This bizarre, ingenious, mesmerising exhibition is divided into two parts - its........

© Al Jazeera