Deutsch-Südwestafrika Installation by Brett Bailey
Third World Bunfight presents
The Exhibit Series
Throughout 2012 and 2014
Exhibits A, B & C
A series of human installations on imperialism in Africa and racism
These three deeply moving Exhibits – researched and created by South African artist, Brett Bailey – gaze into the hidden Curiosity Cabinets of European racism. They focus on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Europe’s powers scrambled for African colonies, and her scientists formulated the pseudo-scientific racial theories that continue to warp perceptions with horrific consequences.
Drawing on the ‘human zoos’ and ethnographic displays so popular during this period, each of these site-specific Exhibits places Africans and African asylum seekers in display cases, unpacking the histories, and turning the gaze back on Europeans.
EXHIBIT A: Deutsch-Südwestafrika (Vienna Festival and Teaterformen Festival, 2010; Oslo, 2011) draws together several threads concerning European racism towards Africans from the mid 19th century to the present. It opens the wounds of ethnographic exhibitions, social Darwinism, and the increasingly xenophobic policies of the EU. Made for festivals in Austria and Germany, it focuses on the imperial moment in German South West Africa (Namibia), and the atrocities committed by German colonial forces.
EXHIBIT B: paradis perdu (Kunstenfestivaldesarts, 2012), made for Belgium and France (for presentation in 2012/13), widens the lens to take in both the Belgian Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo (‘Congo Brazzaville’). Much the same brutal scenario of exploitation of resources (ivory, rubber and timber) and people occurred in both these neighbouring Congo territories during the imperial period that followed the Scramble for Africa.
EXHIBIT C: (2014) will include territories colonised by the British Empire and Portugal, and look at the policies towards immigrants in these countries.
See www.thirdworldbunfight.co.za for photographs and further details.
“The piece is a mixture of shock therapy and musical and visual aesthetic” neue-brauschweiger.de
“This is necessary because Europe has a lot to learn” Der Standard – Austria
“Exhibit A: Deutsch-sudwestafrika leads not only the fate of the indigenous population during the colonial period before your eyes, but also draws the eye to how people are perceived in Africa today” Wiener Zeitung – Austria
The human zoo of the imperial time in Europe, which contributed to the racial fictions for construction to legitimize the colonial policy, the genocide overpopulate to the Herero and the Nama in Namibia under German colonial domination and the increased racism and use of a ‘politics of the strong hand “against immigrants in Europe.” via — die-junge-buehne.de/blog/2010/05/23/exhibit-a-aus-besuchersicht/