‘Human Zoo’ Project in Norway Sparks Racism Row

RT, May 16, 2014

A Norwegian project displaying people for entertainment by highlighting the evolution of racism has recreated a notorious ‘human zoo’, depicting Africans in cages as uncivilized and primitive animals, a move that sparked public outrage.

The outdoor exhibition called European Attraction Limited which was set up in the capital, Oslo, in Frogner Park, has recreated a notorious 1914 Norwegian human zoo. The original Congo village, or Kongolandsbyen, was inhabited by about 80 people, actually Senegalese, who were put on display for public entertainment for five months.

That show attracted about 1.4 million people who were eager to watch “traditionally-dressed Africans,”living in palm-roof cabins and going about their daily routine of cooking, eating and making handicrafts.

Now, a hundred years later, the curators of the exhibition–Mohamed Ali Fadlabi, who arrived in the country as a Sudanese refugee and Lars Cuzner, a Swedish national–have recreated the notorious display and dedicated it to the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution.

“We are rebuilding the village in order to address issues around historical amnesia, misrepresentations, the evolution of racism and the architecture behind the nation-building process,” Fadlabi and Cuzner said at the opening.

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A Norwegian woman Nanna Melland who volunteered to be a resident of the village, says she decided to take part in the show since she wanted to know what it would be to live in “primitive” huts. However, she is still uncertain about the practical aspects of living in such a village which will stay open till August.

“I don’t know if I’ll manage to stay here when it rains,” she said. “And where will I cook my food? Where will I get water and where will I go to the toilet? It’s extremely primitive here,” she says.

According to Public Art Norway (KORO) is the government’s professional body for art in public spaces, and the country’s largest art producer that funded the project, the exhibition “highlights relevant questions concerning racism, antiracism, representation and cultural dominance.”

{snip}

Meanwhile, not everyone shared the admiration for “a monument to a shameful part of our history.” The artists decided to put two Belgian flags on the entrance of the village as the same fair also took place in Belgium at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Belgian ambassador to Norway was not amused by this fact and demanded his country’s flags be taken down, Bo Krister Wallstrom from KORO told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

However, the artists refused to remove the flags saying they will do it only if they are “forced” to by either the police or Foreign Ministry.

{snip}

Meanwhile, the artists strongly denied the accusations that they have rebuilt the ‘racist’ human zoo, saying that what they’re doing is merely art.

“The criticism abated when they discovered that [the volunteers for the show] are from everywhere,” said Fadlabi, “And we think that it’s very racist that [critics] think . . . that as long as it’s mixed a little bit, it’s OK.”

“And it’s from anti-racists. That’s the most racist thing that we’ve ever been to in this world,” he added.

In April, prior to the project’s launch, anti-racism organizations and commentators labeled the project offensive and racist. The artists have received numerous threats from anti-racists who said they would burn down the recreation of a 1914 Oslo ‘human zoo.’

On May 7, the anti-racists started a hashtag “#SomeoneTellNorway”

“SHOCKING: Africans Being Exhibited like animals in Norway’s Human Zoo,” tweeted Xtiandela, a Nairobi musician and blogger.

“The only people who will like this are those with racist views. This is something children with African ancestry will hear about and will find degrading. I find it difficult to see how this project could be done in a dignified manner,” Rune Berglund, head of Norway’s Anti-Racism Center told This is Africa (TIA) forum for African opinion, arts and music.

Human zoos, also called ethnological expositions or Negro Villages, were 19th- and 20th-century public exhibits of Africans and other non-Western peoples. They were aimed at convincing the European public of the necessity of colonization as well as of cultural differences between Europeans of Western civilization and non-European peoples. These zoos have since been criticized as highly degrading and racist.

There were several human zoos or ‘colonial exhibitions’ in Belgium, Germany, France, the US and other Western countries at the time.

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  • Dave4088

    “….a notorious ‘human zoo’, depicting Africans in cages as uncivilized and primitive animals, a move that sparked public outrage.”

    Black in America and Africans in England and Scandinavia live up to this characterization every day so I don’t see the problem.

    • ThomasER916

      The problem I see is non-Whites in White nations.

  • Pelagian

    “It’s intention is anti-racist but critics call it racist.”. I LOVE when this happens. Pretty much my favorite kind of story on Amren. A/K/A “You can’t win for losing”

    • LHathaway

      My favorite kind of story on AmRen too, maybe. Generally, these ‘anti-racist’, as well-intentioned as they somehow must imagine themselves, get what they deserve when they get caught in the diversity apparatus. Oh, how rarely it happens. What they truly deserve is to have to live with diversity. The more the better. Full diversity, if possible. One day, we may actually be able to give them what they deserve.

    • TruthBeTold

      I’ve said it many times here. When it comes to blacks, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

      When dealing with blacks, it’s lose-lose.

  • MekongDelta69

    “I don’t know if I’ll manage to stay here when it rains,” she said. “And where will I cook my food? Where will I get water and where will I go to the toilet? It’s extremely primitive here,” she says.

    Hey lady – You wanted Africa in your country. You got Africa in your country.

    • SentryattheGate

      The World health Organization has been trying to eradicate diseases in the Turd World, most of which are caused by fecal contamination. They ended up rounding up the adults of villages, and with maps of the village they went around notating on the maps wherever they found a pile of poop. How and behold; there were piles everywhere/no outhouses, or even common areas for that use!!! So, of course, when it rained, everyone walked around in manure tea. Even animals know better than to foul their own nests!

  • Pro_Whitey

    At least 100 years ago they had the good sense not to let them out of the cages.

  • Tarczan

    Are they taking this on tour? It’d be great to get these animals in Cleveland.

    • Spikeygrrl

      That’s just another day at the office in Cleveland. Trust me on this; I used to live there.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Human zoos, also called ethnological expositions or Negro Villages, were 19th- and 20th-century public exhibits of Africans and other non-Western peoples. They were aimed at convincing the European public of the necessity of colonization as well as of cultural differences between Europeans of Western civilization and non-European peoples. These zoos have since been criticized as highly degrading and racist.

    ___________________________________________

    Colonization was one of the west’s biggest mistakes. Now we have to deal with the African savages and other third world invaders colonizing our own countries at the express invitation of our traitorous cosmopolitan elites. Whereas European colonization enormously benefited Africa and the third world, their colonization of our western countries is absolutely not beneficial and is, in fact, highly destructive and suicidal.

    • ElComadreja

      Bringing them to America to pick cotton has to be one of the biggest mistakes in history.

    • ThomasER916

      The colonization of America and Australia were done correctly. The colonization Meso America, South America and Africa were not done correctly. That’s why we have a problem.

  • So CAL Snowman

    We have a human zoo right here in the good old USA, it’s called Detroit.

  • LHathaway

    To be honest, most of their ‘anti-racist’ intentions succeed. And most of the ‘anti-racist’ laws that are passed, and policies enacted upon, are anti-white.

  • Stan D Mute

    Fortunately, in the USA, we have one or more of these in every state! Yes, we do everything better in America. You’re never more than a hundred mile or so from Detroit, Newark, Washington DC, Atlanta, St Louis, Chicongo, etc..

  • dd121

    If we here on AmRen use zoo terminology such as chimp or baboon we get instantly moderated. Seems pretty descriptive to me and no matter what we say we’re not going to be loved by the lefties who only want to destroy us.

  • IstvanIN

    As I see it the purpose of the “zoo” was to make Norwegians feel ashamed of their “racist” past. And the exhibition blew up in the face of the people, an African and a Swede, who want to make the Norwegians feel ashamed. The real question should be do the Norwegians see the mistake of importing Africans over the last 50 years?

    • LHathaway

      No time soon. The exhibit is intended to make Norwegians feel ashamed, to degrade and denigrate Norwegians, and the authorities have decided this is offensive, to blacks.

      Is this KORO art group the same ones who did the ‘African for Norway’ music video featured here? Cause that was pretty good.

  • Rurik

    During the 1930s, when asked by an interviewer if America would become fascist, Huey Long replied, “Yes. of course we’ll have Fascism, but we’ll call it Anti-Fascism”, So too, we now have racism but call it Anti-Racism.

  • Fredrik_H

    “I don’t know if I’ll manage to stay here when it rains,” she said. “And where will I cook my food? Where will I get water and where will I go to the toilet? It’s extremely primitive here,” she says.

    I guess white males do come in handy from time to time, eh Nanna?

  • Why not an Open Borders Celebrate Diversity! Zoo in each Western nation that would exhibit the exciting stages of a slowly devolving Western civilization, finally ending in one big ignorant violent corrupt diseased third-world over-the-horizon nonwhite shantytown? No, come to think of it, we need only relax and let that happen.

  • DeMarquise Elkins

    To see a human zoo at your risk, take a walk in Southside Chicago.

  • Grantland

    Hahaha! Brilliant/hilarious.

  • MooTieFighter

    Love it when the “anti-racist” get called racist. When will they learn, you can’t win. The only way to be considered an “anti-racist” is to mock and belittle whites, give tons of money and special privileges to blacks, and always speak of blacks as if they are gods gift to this planet (even as they steal your car and shoot at you).

  • IstvanIN

    When people accidentally let their true feelings and the truth come through.

  • ElComadreja

    Here in America we call it prison. They belong behind bars.

  • ThomasER916

    There should be zero Africans in Norway.