The mummy's curse - Death photography
Laurie Taylor discusses the mummy's curse and other Oriental myths with Marina Warner and Roger Luckhurst. Audrey Linkman considers the relationship between death and photography.
Laurie Taylor discusses the mummy's curse and other Oriental myths with Marina Warner and Roger Luckhurst. The Ancient Egyptians had no real concept of the curse; instead, Luckhurst argues, it was a product of the Victorian imagination, a result of British ambivalence about Egypt's increasing self-determination. The curse was part of a wider Western tradition of portraying the East as exotic and irrational, dominated by superstitions. That attitude is revealed in the British reaction to English language translations of The Arabian Nights, which played into Oriental stereotypes of barbarity, cruelty and unbridled sexuality. Marina Warner discusses the reasons why the stories of Aladdin et al are as popular as ever in modern, multi-cultural Britain.
Author Audrey Linkman discusses the relationship between photography and death in her study of post-mortem portraits from the late 19th century to the modern day, and how they reflect contemporary attitudes towards mortality.
Producer: Stephen Hughes.