Imaginary Orient

Take a look at Orientalist paintings of late 19th. It’s a fantasy world, like our fantasy comics today. It didn’t exist in the “Orient” but only in the imagination of the “Occidental.” Yet, the imaginary Orient of writers and artists, became the “real” Orient that Imperial culture sought to essentialize, and represent, as its agent. Those among the colonized who could perceive the value in providing this essentialized “real thing” to the Imperium were well rewarded and became a model for others to follow.