Jinn exorcisms on YouTube

  • Author(s): Christian Suhr
  • When: 2019-07
  • Where: Descending with angels
  • Based on an analysis of Scene 7 in the accompanying film, the third chapter discusses how young Muslims use the increasing number of jinn exorcisms on YouTube as a form of entertainment, but also as a way of cultivating an awareness and an ethical disposition of the self in confrontation with the invisible. The chapter explores how these exorcisms produce doubt and discuss the ways in which doubt is an integral part of these young Muslims’ practices of faith. In addition the chapter explores how the recurrent discussion of the value of images in anthropology could find new answers by examining the way these Muslims use and respond to visual media. The chapter concludes by discussing the peculiar resemblance between the visual display of photographic images and the bodies of people possessed by invisible jinn. Like the possessed body, the image as a failed example or model of reality makes certain things visible, but simultaneously amplifies the sense of invisibility, pointing toward that which cannot be seen, depicted visually, or represented in writing.

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