If you had told me I would come across two different stories about “human zoos” in the same week, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that is exactly what happened.
In the first story I read, I learned about the shameful history of human zoos in Europe, Asia,and even the U.S. The time period was the 16th century to the mid-twentieth century and it involved taking indigenous people from Asia, Africa and the Americas and putting them in cages, circuses or “villages” for the enjoyment of spectators. A Paris exhibition is detailing the shameful events:
Organizers of The Invention of the Savage, which runs until June 2012, say the aim of the exhibition is to explore how Western Societies created a sense of “other” in regard to foreigners, used to legitimize colonization.
Here is a link to the article I read.
The past right? Well, then I came across this article which details a much more recent “human zoo” in India where one tribe, the often naked women, were enticed to dance for tourists looking for a native experience in exchange for food.
Will the sense of superiority and “other” ever end?