Action Zoo Humain


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Action Zoo Humain

On behalf of De Waarheidcommissie Nederland, we invite you to a unique meeting in Amsterdam on June 28, 2023 at 5:00 PM.

Run time 150 minutes
Genre perspective
Language Dutch

Until well into the 20th century, the Netherlands exhibited thousands of men, women and children in so-called 'human gardens' or human zoos. In 1883, for example, people from Suriname and Indonesia could be seen demonstrating 'authentic' crafts on the Museumplein. These kinds of exhibitions, like racist freak shows at fairgrounds, were organized from the fears and desires of the Dutch themselves. The problematic curiosity about the "exotic" and the "unknown" determined the way in which people were presented as "primitive" and "backward".

This fall, De Waarheidscommissie will make a performance about the effects of these so-called human zoos on today's society. Today, many Amsterdammers are committed to a better living environment by opposing polarization and racism. How's that for you? What are you running into? How divided is Amsterdam and how do you deal with it? And can we check whether the history of 'people gardens' still has an effect today in, for example, stereotyping, the unequal distribution of wealth or ethnic profiling by the police?-|-
The results of this conversation are processed by a team of researchers and artists in the performance De Waarheidscommissie.

De Waarheidscommissie is coming to Amsterdam from 1 to 4 November 2023. The project investigates how exhibiting people as 'exotics' during the colonial period influences racism, discrimination and image distortion in the Netherlands today.

What do you think should be discussed in De Waarheidscommissie about Amsterdam? Join us June 28 and share your voice, your perspective and the voice of your community.

The Truth Commission of the Netherlands is an initiative of various cultural partners from the Netherlands and Flanders. Organizations are invited to the States General that are involved in image (re)forming, breaking stereotypes and processing the colonial past of the Netherlands. The project investigates how exhibiting people as 'exotics' during the colonial period influences racism, discrimination and imagery in the Netherlands today. Follow our research on


coproducers Theater DEGASTEN, Theater Rotterdam, deBuren, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Musis & Stadstheater Arnhem, de Brakke Grond, Action Zoo Humain
with the support of Bijlmer Parktheater, IMPACT, Theater Zuidplein, NTGent, Provinciehuis Arnhem, Waalse Kerk, Debatcentrum Arminius, Fonds 21, Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie, Fonds Podiumkunsten, Vriendenloterijfonds, Fonds ZOZ 
this performance is being created with the support of de Taxshelter van de Belgische Federale Overheid via Cronos Invest