The Desert Ninja


He speaks with a British accent, probably from Brighton. He is said to be one of the few who mind the Western prisoners of The Caliphate. The raspy voice suits the scenario, the deep shade of yellow desert sand and the slick Adobe Premiere video editing. The message is clear: this war will be different. Look at the color palette. The IS logo on the upper-left corner. The orange jumpsuit. James Wright Foley, may he rest in peace, was brought in as a live prop for what is really the opening act of a new drama series.

Out there, in the new land between Raqqa and Tikrit, where fifty-thousand Yazidis hide in the mountains, where the only sound in the night sky is of predatory US drones, the desert ninja declares the end of the insurgency. He belongs to a new class of solemn warriors, a new global breed that shreds European passports, slaughters civilians in the name of an impostor and his fake/real microsovereignty.

The desert ninja is the deviant version of the Shogun's Decapitator, a hypermedia spokesperson for the unimaginable, a gruesome and uninvited appearance in the jaded environment of the digital network. Whoever is writing this script has all the necessary knowledge to fight a media war with the future. The mix of medieval elements and After Effects is a clear sign of the emerging aesthetics coming out of that part of the world and Golf Futurism never felt this real. Cue soundtrack.



The Caliphate is like the onset of a new disease, or a bad dream, it haunts the body electric with what is about to happen. It signals the ongoing internal struggle within Islam and it challenges any previous understanding of the political dynamics of the Middle East, leaving only faint traces of  rationality in the wake of its battles. Alone, in his new home, facing the camera, the masked avenger pulls out a knife.