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Chinese museum removes racist exhibit comparing Africans to animals

This is not the first time that Chinese institutions have been accused of showing a lack of sensitivity on race.

world Updated: Oct 14, 2017 16:40 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Beijing
The exhibition, by photographer Yu Huiping, juxtaposes images of African people in the same poses as animals. (Photo: Shanghaiist)

A Chinese museum has removed photographs which compare African people to animals from a controversial exhibition after being accused of racism, the curators said Friday.

Social media users in Africa had led outrage over the montages, including one showing an open-mouthed African child alongside a monkey in the same pose, and another showing a black adult man baring his teeth alongside a photograph of a lion, reported the Shanghaiist.

Following the complaints, a dozen offending works were removed from the exhibition called “This is Africa”, which has been showing for three weeks at the Hubei Provincial Museum, in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

“To show our goodwill and sincerity, we have replaced the photos that our African friends find shocking,” curator Wang Yuejun told AFP.

The exhibition contained 150 images by photographer Yu Huiping, who has visited Africa many times and “greatly loves” the continent, said Wang.

In creating his collection the photographer was simply trying to “show the harmony between man and animal in Africa”, the curator said. “There is no discrimination at all in this.”

It is not the first time in recent years that Chinese institutions have been accused of showing a lack of sensitivity on race. According to the Shanghaiist, black foreigners visiting or living in China are often dumbfounded by the casual instances of racism that they experience because of their skin color.

Last year, a laundry product firm apologised after a TV advertisement for its detergent showed a black man being forced into a washing machine before emerging transformed into an Asian man.

First Published: Oct 14, 2017 16:34 IST