The exhibit that portrayed black Americans as slaves and other demeaning roles was subsequently cancelled.
About 200 protesters showed up on the display's opening night. The rowdiness of the crowd convinced managers to lock the doors and cancel future presentations.
Baily is a South African artist. The exhibit consisted of live black actors posing in demeaning roles and was intended to be anti-racists.
Protesters, however, seemed to think the exhibit was more demeaning to blacks than to racism, and so they garnered about 20,000 petition signatures and made enough noise at the venue to discourage patrons.
From our source we read:
The white South African artist Brett Bailey's Exhibit B has been described by its black participants as "a powerful tool in the fight against racism". However, a petition calling the Barbican's decision to host the work as "an outrageous act of complicit racism", managed to gain over 20,000 signatures.Continue reading ►
After 200 protesters blockaded the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday, the thousands that called for a boycott won some sort of victory, as the show was called off. However, this wasn't because of their demonstrations, but because the Barbican worried for the "safety of performers, audiences and staff".
It's important to come to terms with the kind of sentiment invoked when the ire of a protesting black crowd is seen as a risk to "safety". This is especially the case given that the protest was not a surprise mobbing of an innocent art event, but the culmination of a campaign that was demanding its stance against racism to be taken seriously.
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