The Gaze On Black Bodies

powerful and true description of inhumanities

Afrocentric Confessions

For her exhibition “Archival Impulse & Poverty Pornography”, Ayana V Jackson turns to the archives to touch on the representation of black bodies.

Art by Ayana V. Jackson In ‘Diorama,’  artist Ayana V. Jackson depicts the idea of blacks on display in exhibitions, such as the well-known Sarah Baartman

The flyers pasted around the cobbled streets of London beckoned passers-by to witness the “greatest phenomenon ever exhibited in this country”. Intrigued by the invitation and the word on the streets, curious Londoners flocked to the show to see what had just arrived in town. With bated breath and the two-shilling entry fee in hand, they arrived at Number 225 Piccadilly, to cast their eyes on the “Hottentot Venus”.

It was on such a day in 1810 that Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman – dressed in skin-tight clothes to best exhibit her posterior and genitalia – was put on display like a captured animal. And it is this memory of…

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