A Chinese museum is in the middle of a social media storm after it displayed racist exhibition photos comparing Africans to wild animals. Many have termed the display as the worst form of racism to ever happen in this day and age.
The news of the exhibition broke on Wednesday after a video emerged on Instagram showing Chinese art fans admiring exhibition photos that placed Africans alongside wild animals at a museum identified as the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, Central China.
The controversial photos include an image of a roaring lion displayed next to an African man making the same facial expression. Another one has a monkey with its mouth wide open put alongside an African man with the same expression.
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There is another one with a herd of elephants and giraffes standing alongside African kids. All these controversial exhibits are titled with a Chinese idiom, “Outward appearance follows inner reality”.
The exhibition has offended a lot of people across the world.
Don’t mean to pick on China (there are racists everywhere). But, honestly, this is really terrible. https://t.co/1WEUakCD2J
— John Ashbourne (@JohnAshbourne) October 12, 2017
The whole concept is racist, but it’s only the man+ape combo that bothers me. https://t.co/A54Xd4TLdo
— Daudi Msseemmaa (@msseemmaa) October 13, 2017
Anti-blackness is truly global… https://t.co/6Oq2VMdPyC
— Jamel Jackson (@JamelJackson10) October 12, 2017
Admiring African “Primitiveness”
The Chinese exhibition labeled “This Is Africa” was started on September 28 by a Chinese photographer, Yu Huiping, with the intention of illustrating the kind of “primitive life” found in Africa by comparing the connection between humans, wild animals and nature.
According to Shangaiist, a Chinese destination blog, Huiping, who is also the vice president of Hubei Photographers Association, has a deep passion for Africa and its wildlife.
But neither the museum nor the photographer has commented on the racist exhibition. Such controversial displays have become quite common nowadays, with some popular brands creating adverts that are laced with racist undertones.
Just a week ago, Dove – an international skincare company, triggered a social media storm after it published a controversial Facebook advert showing a black beauty model turning white after using body wash.
The advert attracted heavy criticism from the black folks, many of whom claimed the whole concept was racist. Dove has since apologized for the advert although the black model in the video insists that she’s not a victim, arguing that the advert was taken out of context.