Thursday, January 12, 2012

Paris' Human Zoos Exposed at the Musée du Quai Branly

L'Invention du Sauvage (The Invention of the Savage) opened at the Musée du Quai Branly on November 29, 2011. This exposition “unveils the history of women, men and children brought from Africa, Asia, Oceania and America to be exhibited in the Western world in circus numbers, theatre or cabaret performances, fairs, zoos, parades, reconstructed villages or international and colonial fairs.”

I have yet to see the exhibit, but definitely intend to do so. Until I am able to write a firsthand report, I want to share with you a brief video filmed by BBC in which curator Nanette Snoep explains the concept behind the exposition. Click on the link beneath the image below to view the video.

Screenshot from BBC Video

I also want to share some of the fliers that were created to publicize the zoos and the theatrical renditions of battles that France waged to establish itself as a colonial power in Africa.

Note: The Casino de Paris, the Folies Bergère, the Champs de Mars, and the Grand Palais are sites that are included in Discover Paris’ Entrée to Black Paris self-guided and private, guided walking tours. Multiple additional facets of the African/Diaspora experience in Paris are associated with each site.

L'Invention du Sauvage runs until Sunday June 3, 2012. Stay tuned for a future posting in which I’ll present my personal impressions of it.

Musée du Quai Branly
37, quai Branly
75007 Paris
Telephone: 01 56 61 70 00
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday 11am to 7pm; Thursday through Saturday 11am to 9pm


Entrée to Black Paris!™ is a Discover Paris! blog.

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1 comment:

Wanderlust said...

This exhibit is on my 'must see' list even with, or should I say especially with, the controversy around it. It has has varied reviews from friends that have seen it, extreme on either end of the spectrum - it is a definite conversation starter. Looking forward to reading your impressions of it.