Conference - Meeting

Conversation at the Salon around an object: Geneva's colonial shows and their legacy

Thursday 30 May, 12:15

Détail de l'affiche de l'exposition Mémoires. Floutage.

Welcome to the Salon of the exhibition "Remembering. Geneva in the colonial world" for a discussion with director Shyaka Kagame and historian Thierry Maurice. May 30. 12.15 pm. In French only.

Conversation at the Salon around an object:

Geneva's colonial shows and their legacy

With Shyaka Kagame and Thierry Maurice
For the 1896 Swiss National Exhibition in Geneva, a Black Village was set up in what was to become the Jonction district. It was a kind of living exhibition in which people of African origin staged their daily lives in a supposedly ad hoc reconstructed habitat. In this way, the public can observe at close quarters what they perceive as a primitive culture born of racial inferiority. This type of show, which also included traveling shows, was very popular in Europe at the time. In Geneva, for example, they were staged at the Parc des Eaux-Vives until 1912.
How did these representations of colonial otherness contribute to forging and disseminating the racial stereotypes we still find today ? What are their legacies today, and what can be done to ensure that this page of Geneva's past is not forgotten, but can be used to build a more equitable future ?
Guests speakers
Shyaka Kagame was born in Geneva in 1983 to parents of Rwandan origin. After studying political science, he embarked on documentary filmmaking, releasing his first feature film "Bounty" (JMH & FILO Films/RTS) in 2017, which tackles the identity issues of the first Afro-Swiss generation. In 2018, he directed the report "Policiers vaudois, une violente série noire" (RTS), which looks at the increasing number of deaths of black men during police interventions in the canton of Vaud. In 2023, he is author and narrator of the podcast "Boulevard du Village noir" (RTS/Futur Proche), an audio series exploring racism and the colonial unconscious in Switzerland through the territoriality of Boulevard Carl-Vogt in Geneva.
Thierry Maurice holds a doctorate in history. He published his thesis La Transition démocratique : l'Espagne et ses ruses mémorielles (1976-1982) (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2013). A scientific collaborator with the Maison de l'histoire at the University of Geneva, he is one of the programmers of the Festival Histoire et Cité, a large-scale event in French-speaking Switzerland that aims to place the major issues of our time in a historical perspective. The inclusion of memory in the public arena has led him to examine, in two forthcoming collective works, the status of exhibitions of so-called "exotic" populations in Geneva at the turn of the 20th century, as well as the links between writer Albert Cohen and the City of Calvin.
The Conversations at the Salon is the lecture-meeting series of the temporary exhibition "Remembering. Geneva in the colonial world".
This cycle was conceived and organized by Fabio Rossinelli.
Entry to the temporary exhibition is free of charge in 2024.

Date de dernière mise à jour de l'événement 08.05.2024
Photo J. Watts. Graphisme Nask

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