Artifact Title: Human Zoo

Medium: Text

Author: Oliver Basciano

Article Title: How to cause a moral panic: Oslo's human zoo

Publisher: Art Review

Year: 2014

Image credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen /

TERA Curator: Gabriel Dharmoo

Human Zoo

Kongolandsbyen was a human zoo created in 1914 in Oslo, Norway. One hundred years later, artists Fadlabi and Lars Cuzner built a reconstruction on its original site. This artistic project opens up complex questions about Otherness, power relations, post-colonialism, liberal guilt, racism and moral panic. By engaging directly with the zoo’s controversial history, the artists hold a mirror to the present, or at least, the lack of critical engagement with the past. What is the place of controversy, provocation, irreverence, subversion and satire in art?