Scenarios of the Oppressed, Fantasies of the Master

In 1966, because Muhammad Ali Clay did not want to fight against Vietnam, he rejected to serve in the military, then his license, passport and ID were confiscated. Even though he suffered many challenges because of his reaction against the law, according to many people, that reaction is one of the symbols of resistance towards the […]

Scenarios of the Oppressed, Fantasies of the Master
Scenarios of the Oppressed, Fantasies of the Master
  • Yayınlanma18 April 2023 14:12
  • Güncelleme19 April 2023 10:01

In 1966, because Muhammad Ali Clay did not want to fight against Vietnam, he rejected to serve in the military, then his license, passport and ID were confiscated. Even though he suffered many challenges because of his reaction against the law, according to many people, that reaction is one of the symbols of resistance towards the racist system.


In 1976, a movie called Rocky was shooted. In the film, a white boxer named Rocky who earns his life by working on the streets, fights a black boxer named Apollo Creed. In that title fight, Rocky defeats his “black” opponent Apollo.   

In 1977, the movie of Rocky won three Oscars. The actor of the film and screenwriter Sylvester Stallone comes on stage to express his gratitude for being awarded. When he begins to speak, Muhammad Ali walks on the stage without Stallone seeing him. When Stallone sees Muhammad Ali, he suprised. Muhammad Ali stood in front of Stallone, looked at him and then pointed his finger at him and angrily questioned him: “I am the real Apollo Creed. You stole my script!” Then he calls Stallone for fighting and said twice: “Show me what you can do?” Stallone raised his fists. Both of them laughed together. During their match with a joke, Muhammad Ali was hitting his fists and asking him: “Show me what you can do?”


After a few seconds, Stallone escapes Muhammad Ali and the match ends in the first round. He became ridicules on the stage.  Then Stallone completes his speech like this: “I just want to say something. It is a great honor for me to stand next to a true legend. It will be a real treasure for me for the rest of my life.

We don’t know how Sylvester Stallone would have spoken as Rocky, if Muhammad Ali had not appeared on stage that night and sued for his stolen script. But in the shade of force, the truth came out. Muhammad Ali broke the legend of Rocky and the Hollywood movie industry with his fists, just as he destroyed the reputation of the state a few years ago.

In the history of the Oscar ceremony, that two-minute mise-en-scene was not widely publicized. There may be two reasons for that. Muhammad Ali not only accused Stallone but also exposed the state-owned film industry and its award policy. He showed us how the state, the market and the arts cooperate to colonize the imagination of people and how they steal the scenarios of the oppressed people and replace them with wrong representations.

The colonial system does not allow any success story for the oppressed people to be proud of. In this way, they not only took hold of songs and epics but also took biographies and real life stories and made them their property. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the importance of “daily life”, “the power of fantasy, image and imagination” was discovered. It was time for minds and imaginations, after land and fields, gold and silver. The state and capitalistic forces wanted the areas of culture and art; including literature, television, cinema and theatre, design in an industrial style. The aim is not only to enter homes but also to enter minds and brains.

 

Colonialism disorts the truth with theft scenarios, artificial and fake heroes and misrepresentations and instead fulls with its fantasies. The oppressed people, whose scripts were stolen, lose their reality after a while, they see their images in the scripts of the rulers, whatever role they are given, they play that role. The fantasies of masters becomes their scenarios.

In the development of colonialism, culture and art play an important role. Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe, Shakespeare’s play The Tempest are two main examples of colonial fiction. For years, anti-colonial writers wrote other works against the representation of “Friday” and “Caliban” in those works and revealed the fantasies of the rulers from the eyes of the oppressed. The field of cinema is still ongoing those “script wars”.

In every field, the struggle for representation continues throughout the world. Only those who take care of their scripts can take place in the world with their names, talk about their names with the world and share their experiences with the world so justice is done both in reality and in representation and the scenarios of the oppressed do not become the victim of their fantasies.

This news was translated by Yonca Sarsilmaz