Performers in Exhibit B AKA the ‘human zoo’

So I stumbled across an article from a different perspective about Exhibit B at the Barbican:

The performers may well be angry and rightly so because the continued cuts this Tory-led government and hellbent on continuing are impact the arts too but I’d advice them to direct their anger not to the anti-racist protestors but rather the government which is trampling on their livelihood and well, art and culture for the rest of us.

Human zoos were literally showcases of African people for the pleasure of European and white colonisers. Africans were showcased in cages alongside animals. There’s nothing artistic or innovative about this piece of ‘art’ by Brett Bailey. He claims that it critiques the human zoos of history but provoking discussion and such.

We need to continue to protest against all forms of white supremacy and racism especially ‘liberal’ forms of ‘art’ that wanna invoke discussion as if to say conversations around race and power and white supremacy aren’t happening any way. They’re happening but you don’t have to pay £20 to have the privilege to do so in a largely white space. They’re happening on social media, in our communities and in our homes. We don’t need yet another privileged white middle class man showing us how to discuss race or learn history.

Akala has written a great piece critiquing the exhibit:


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