Between 1810 and 1940, nearly 35 thousand people were exhibited in world fairs, colonial exhibitions, zoos, freak shows, circuses and reconstructed ethnic villages in Europe, America and Japan. Some 1.5 billion visitors attended these events.
We may not be in physical cages any more, but the othering, the racism, the rise of the far-right across Europe certainly makes me feel like a specimen, to be observed, tamed, controlled and expelled.
“The whole basis of the Windrush scandal was that ‘these people don’t belong here’, that their citizenship could be revoked. It makes me feel like we don’t belong, like we’ve never made any contribution,” she says. “That is not the truth.”