Search

1,000 sign petition to cancel ‘racist’ exhibition at Barbican

12:20 27 August 2014

Exhibit B - photo by Sofie Knijff

Exhibit B - photo by Sofie Knijff

Archant

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition to cancel a “racist” exhibition due to be displayed at the Barbican.

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

Exhibit B - photo by Sofie KnijffExhibit B - photo by Sofie Knijff

The gallery is due to open Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B which features black actors in cages, depicting real 19th-century human zoos, from September 23.

Mr Bailey, a playwright who grew up in Apartheid South Africa, says the exhibition demonstrates the “brutal reality behind colonisation” and is “not a piece about black histories made for white audiences” – but activists have called it “highly offensive, insulting and racist”.

Zita Holbourne, an artist and curator who is also co-founder of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, wrote about the exhibition: “We don’t believe that in order to remind people of the horrors of racism, enslavement, apartheid and colonial rule it is necessary to place black people in cages and put them on display in an exhibition and that this exhibition does nothing to promote race equality.

“This is not art as is claimed by the curator of the exhibition Brett Bailey.”

The petition currently has 1,260 signatures, despite one performer who took part describing the exhibition as one of the most “powerful experiences of my career” and another saying it “awakened me about the horrors of the past that are part of our history”.

In defence of the exhibition, Mr Bailey wrote: “Nowhere do I term Exhibit B a ‘human zoo’. Exhibit B is not a piece about black histories made for white audiences.

“It is a piece about humanity; about a system of dehumanisation that affects everybody within society, regardless of skin colour, ethnic or cultural background, that scours the humanity from the ‘looker’ and the ‘looked at’.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

12:18
Islington's Borough Commander Gerry Campbell Pic: Dieter Perry

A new crack police team designed to wipe out violence within the family will be launched on Monday.

Yesterday, 16:09
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Yesterday, 11:22
Richmond Trew

A “notorious pickpocket” who was banned from using the tube has been jailed for six months after breaching his ASBO to steal a purse.

Yesterday, 08:10
MP Emily Thornberry: 'I grew up on a council estate'

An Islington MP has resigned from Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet after her tweet of a house draped with England flags saw her branded a ‘snob’.

Most read news

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition