Thursday, May 17, 2012

African Village At The Augsburg Zoo In Germany, 2005

Scandal at the Augsburg Zoo, "This is not 'African village', but an 'African Village'!" on 6 October 2005, by Sonja Zekri -- In Augsburg, you came up with the idea that Africans in örlichen zoo exotic flair to be sprayed. Wild animals, cages - and Africans: that was not a happy idea. It was a devastating. One runs the storm, however.

Emperor Wilhelm II. visits African people in the zoo of Hamburg, Germany 1909

It is about the German past that tricky. To racism allegations, an incorrigible zoo director, a counseling center and resistant to the amazing success of a sensitive minority mobilization. It's about an event, the largest scandal in their announcement is. To Watusi cattle and humans, and why the two together can be more than just Watusi cattle and humans, namely: an insult. That sounds complicated. Here, the facts are quite simple.

Always been the fantastic allegations, until it seemed that the zoo does not awaken memories of the people looking, he organizing one himself.

On Wednesday in the Augsburg zoo event opened with the title "African Village". "For four days," said the announcement that arises in the zoo, "an African village." A "unique African steppe landscape are grouped silversmiths, basket makers, Zöpfchenflechter" (SZ, 30 May). "Information about the diverse African culture and nature, and travel tips awaken the desire to travel." An African village. At the zoo. Wild animals, cages - and Africans: that was an unfortunate chain of associations. It was a devastating. They brought back memories of the darkest days, in the anthropological displays in the Empire, where people like freaks who began drumming Douala in Cameroon, the Ogalala Sioux or the "wild Patagonians" with which some of Hamburg's international show-impresario Hagenbeck thousands in his Zoo attracted. Such were the times. Such was the view.

Today the times are different, but in Augsburg, criticized the "Initiative of Black People in Germany" (ISD), the perspective has not changed: "The reproduction of colonial gaze-conditions in which black people as exotic objects, as un-or sub-human intimate union with the animal world in an apparently timeless village-can be considered, is probably too little understood as equal cultural encounter. " Of course there are African festivals everywhere now, so Tahir Della of ISD board, but not in the zoo: "The place is loaded, there were people looking at Augsburg.." The Nobel Literature Prize laureate Nadine Gordimer described the event in the Tagesspiegel "unbelievable." The little-known initiative "ECOTERRA" brought criminal charges against the zoo director. Scientists and organizations from around the world reported its say. Always been the fantastic allegations, until it seemed that the zoo does not awaken memories of the people looking, he organizing one himself.

And Augsburg? Incited from bunkered themselves, defiantly played the Misunderstood - and offered a through ball after another. The Augsburg Mayor Paul Wengert said, especially for African societies, it is "notoriously difficult" to be perceived. As was the zoo - a magnet for visitors - just the place. And zoo director Barbara Jantschke says now that the title is a misnomer and their initial responses some "flippant" were. A Swiss citizen alerted them had responded soggy, he should learn a closer look, If there were not an "African village", but an "African Village". Moreover, the zoo is well suited to "convey the atmosphere of the exotic."

To change the title to move the event comes up for them today out of the question: "It must have some, well, is what happens 80 years ago, but now you can easily offer something back completely clueless." Finally, the peoples of no show: "There are Africans who can talk with the children as normal." The ITS plan or even an "African Market". Where then is the difference? The fact that a claim can be difficult to maintain dialogue, if some of the other party feels all the circumstances of this dialogue as a suggestion that part of their beautiful zoo are not so good sides so inseparable as the predator odor, these ideas are foreign to the Director.

By Wednesday morning, both parties agreed that the conversation sought and found not to have, is to blame for each of the other. A Berlin firm had even tried to prevent the opening of an urgent application. And then he opened it, the African Village - accompanied by a handful of protesters, and many journalists. And you saw what you have seen many times before, though not before antelopes: arts and crafts and ethnic knick-knacks, leather bags, beaded necklaces, carved warthog and luck cards, tents for water pipes and South African wines. In addition to the Watusi cattle-a blond Rastafarian drumming, even three-quarters of the stall owners no Africans: a dialogue rather thin potential. No one understands the excitement, the German representative of an animal welfare organization called the International Comparison shop even "brain disease".

In addition to selling the Senegalese Marieme giraffe slide glass bottles with corks hippos from Swaziland. "I put out my goods, not me," she says, "I do not feel like an object." And anyway: "We have to earn something." Previously she once had a store in Berlin-Weissensee. Today there are hardly any Africans, but many skinheads: "Believe me, sometimes it is better to live among animals as among men." []

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