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Human zoo hopes to challenge Norway’s image on racism

General May 16, 2014

By Balazs Koranyi OSLO (Reuters) – Displaying 80 people in a human zoo in Oslo’s most elegant park, two artists hope their “Congo Village” display will help erase what they say is Norwegian’s collective amnesia about racism. Re-enacting a similar display from 1914, Lars Cuznor and Mohamed Ali Fadlabi say Norway, one of the richest nations in the world, with a reputation for tolerance, has only suppressed its intolerance, especially around the time of Saturday’s national day. “Norwegians have been propagating this self-image of a post-racial society and it’s been internalized that it’s a good, tolerant society,” Swedish-Canadian Cuznor told Reuters on Friday. “It’s great branding and it’s self perpetuating but it’s a false image.” The government-funded display opened just days before Norway celebrates the 200th anniversary of its constitution on Saturday, a day marked by parades all over the country with most people dressed in traditional costumes and waving flags.

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