Human Zoos explained in 10 minute video

Excellent short and engaged explanation on the human zoos, by Stephane Kaas. In Dutch.

Contributing to Afrikadaa – Unsettling Photocollections

In Afrikadaa I publish about the artistic search I conduct on the  19th century anthropometric photocollections : the search for the context, the search for the photomaterial itself, and, most of all, the sensitive questions on how to use, by whom, and how to speak of these unsettling images. read more…

Contributing to DW B: Anthropometric photography

I have been looking into the 19th century photography, as a central means to invent and define the ‘other’. It is a very interesting part of imperial and of photographic history, and it has become the core of my research. This month I publish on this in the leading literary magazine DW B.  read more…

To know the pymies VIIIbis: in a changing world

The same filmmaker, Laurent Maget, made the documantary ‘Pygmées Baka, le grand virage’ in 2013. It starts with the same beautiful imagery, showing a large community of Baka in their more sedentary surroundings ‘Le Bosquet’ in Cameroun. They tell of how they got there, invited by a ‘sister’ (I presume a christian missionary) to come live there, next to a village, and create a large community. This worked, they got advantages like a school. The community attracted researchers (biologic anthropologists) who have in return a dentist pass by regularly. Then it also attracted Bantou shopkeepers. read more…

Doris Lessing – Briefing for a descent into hell (1971)

I just had a wonderful moment reading the passages I had scanned from this book, years ago. Surely it talks about the ‘Primitives’ theme! Then I went trough some book reviews to refresh my memory of the whole picture. And guess what.. none of the reviews say even one word about the elements that have stricken me most in the book. read more…

Hagenbeck’s Eskimo Truppe

The successful German organizer of human exhibitions, Carl Hagenbeck, got Inuit from the Canadian Labrador for a tour to Europe, in 1880. They had not been vaccinated against the variola or smallpox virus and they all died.
The then famous specialist in physical anthropology Rudolph Virchow had been allowed to (try and) measure them during their lifetime; there were two families: a christened and a non-christened family. read more…