Deep Racism

In 2005 werd er in Augsburg, Duitsland, in de dierentuin een ‘African village’ gebouwd, waarin mensen uit het ‘donkere continent’ als dieren in een dierentuin bekeken konden worden (wat volgens de toenmalige directrice Barbara Jantschke “precies de juiste plaats was om een exotische sfeer te scheppen”), gescheiden van de verblijven van de dieren, of niet, daar was nog geen duidelijkheid over. De affiches waren al gedrukt.

A GERMAN zoo has been accused of exploitation after it unveiled plans to put grass-skirted black men in mud huts from tomorrow to show off its elephants and rhinos in their “natural environment”.

The zoo, in the southern German city of Augsburg, is promoting the plan in a glossy brochure entitled Discover the Dark Continent, and has put up posters advertising the new attractions.

The “tribesmen” – no-one is exactly sure which they are from, although most of them will be commuting from darkest downtown Munich – will be encouraged to carry out some traditional activities such as African basket-weaving, woodwork and various rituals such as tribal dancing.

According to the brochure, the idea is to let visitors “discover the Dark Continent” with its “genuine exotic ambience”.

The human exhibits will be separated from the animals in an area where they can be observed easily by visitors, although the brochure does not make it clear whether the people on display would be in the cages with the animals or in an entirely separate enclosure. (Bron)

Dat was natuurlijk niet de eerste keer in Europa, tot nu toe wel de laatste keer. Hierna een beschamend overzicht, wat zich de laatste eeuw(en) in de westerse, zichzelf beschaafd noemende wereld heeft afgespeeld.

Racism is deeply embedded in our culture.  Slavery of African people, ethnic cleansing of Native Americans and colonialist imperialism are seeds that intertwine to create racism that still has impacts today.  One example of the sad human history of racism — of colonizers seeing themselves as superior to others — is the long history of human zoos that featured Africans and conquered indigenous peoples, putting them on display in much the same way as animals. People would be kidnapped and brought to be exhibited in human zoos.  It was not uncommon for these people to die quickly, even within a year of their captivity. This history is long and deep and continued into the 1950s.  Several articles below with lots of photos so we can see the reality of this terrible legacy. (Bron)

Opdat we niet zullen vergeten.