Putting people on display

14 Mar ‘18
Putting people on display

9.00AM - 5.00PM

Venue: Crush Hall, Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling

The University of Stirling invites you to visit the exhibition "Putting people on display".

This is a pared-down version of a major exhibition, ‘Human Zoos: the Invention of the Savage’, organised by the French colonial history research group, ACHAC, which was held at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris in 2011/12. This display of 22 banner-style posters charting the history of ‘putting people on display’ will tour 5 Scottish HEIs (Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh, Stirling, St Andrews, Aberdeen), working in conjunction with various external partners, between February and June 2018. 

The exhibition, which covers a range of historical periods, geographical locations and national contexts, raises many questions about putting people on display, and the forms of observation these practices involve. Drawing on the rich iconography surrounding the phenomenon, it also forces us to address the ethics of display and the extent to which access to often challenging imagery is essential to understanding this historical practice and its contemporary afterlives.

The exhibition was developed in association with the Lilian Thuram Foundation, and is part of a wider commitment to understanding the historical roots of contemporary racism—and to contributing to anti-racist education. It has toured most of the major cities in France, various universities in the US, and was presented in Liverpool in November 2016 as part of the British Academy’s ‘Being Human’ Festival. Three additional posters focusing on the Scottish context have been specially commissioned for this Scottish tour.

For further information, contact Professor David Murphy: d.f.murphy@stir.ac.uk

This exhibition is free of charge and open to staff, students and members of the public.


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