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.

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

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 Islington News Stories

17 minutes ago
The planned facade of the development, the former North London mail sorting office

The firm behind the £400m Islington Square development has announced plans to build a luxury cinema where film fans can have three-course meals delivered directly to their seats.

14:53
Bunhill Fields graveyard in Islington looking towards Featherstone Street

Islington Council is “disappointed” after Mayor of London Boris Johnson approved controversial plans to build two tower blocks by a historic Islington graveyard.

12:49
Scene of the crash on the A107. Credit: @999London

Classmates of an Islington teenager who died in a high-speed police chase were today “in shock” at his death.

Copenhagen Primary School children examine the artwork in Islington Museum

Primary school pupils have commemorated the Gallipoli Campaign in Islington Museum.

Yesterday, 21:57
The fomer People's Social Club premises in Holloway Road. Picture: Ken Mears

A popular former nightclub hoping to rebrand itself as a coffee shop was tonight refused a new licence after neighbours protested against debauchery on their doorsteps.

Yesterday, 15:13
An artist's impression of the north-south Cycle Superhighway on Farringdon Road, looking southbound from Farringdon Station. Picture: TfL

Plans for a cycle “superhighway” that would pass through the west side of Islington have been revealed.

Yesterday, 13:59
Sgt Chris Walsh, of Angel Police Team, and Jackie Ambrosini, of Angel Business Improvement District, demonstrate the Whatsapp alert system using a generic mugshot

Business owners have been asked to take a lead fighting terrorism in the heart of Islington.

The vigil for Sarah Reed (Picture: Zita Holbourne/BARAC UK)

Hundreds gathered outside Holloway Prison last night to hold a candlelit vigil for Sarah Reed, a prisoner who died in her cell last month.

Most read news

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe