UPDATED: African village in the Zoo: Protest against racist exhibition
The zoo of Augsburg/Germany is planning to open a "African village" with people from Africa "situated in an unique African steppe landscape", critically reports Norbert Finzsch in an email, professor of History at the University of Cologne. It's remarkable, that scientists at our university are researching the historical dimension of the Völkerschauen in the 19th century while the zoo of Augsburg in about 80km distance is carrying on this tradition in the 21th century. >> continue
Kurt Jonassohn, On A Neglected Aspect Of Western Racism: From the beginning of the 1870s to the end of the 1930s - the exposition of so-called exotic peoples in zoological gardens attracted a huge public
UPDATE 14.6.05: In Detroit and London: More African Villages in the Zoo
UPDATE 10.6.05: Now the BBC starts to report on the African village
UPDATED UPDATE 2 By 2nd of June several German newspapers have written about the protest against this exhibition: Frankfurter Rundschau, Tagesspiegel, Jungle World, Neues Deutschland, while the conservative DIE WELT defended the arrangement and cites some Africans who consider the combination of zoo and african culture as perferct (for their business). >> continue to my post in German with more links in German
"The way Africans and African Americans in Germany are perceived and discussed, the way they are present on billboards and in TV ads prove that the colonialist and racist gaze is still very much alive in Germany. This is the direct result of forty years of German colonialism and twelve years of National Socialism. People of color are still seen as exotic objects (of desire), as basically dehumanized entities within the realm of animals. This also explains why a zoo has been selected as site for the exhibit."
"The African German community and concerned individuals like myself call to your attention the need to protest against the opening of the exhibit in the Augsburg Zoo. Please direct your personalized letters of protest to Frau Dr. Barbara Jantschke (Director Zoo Augsburg) at email@example.com ."