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Dehumanisation, animalisation: inside the terrible world of Swiss human zoos

After a stay in Leukerbad, James Baldwin affirmed:

From all available evidence, no black man had ever set foot in this tiny Swiss village before I came. I was told before arriving that I would probably be a ‘sight’ for the village; I took this to mean that people of my complexion were rarely seen in Switzerland and also that city people are always something of a ‘sight’ outside of the city. It did not occur to me – possibly because I am an American – that there could be people anywhere who had never seen a N___o.

Baldwin’s odd realisation does not hold the historical evidence, though.

Fifty years before the American writer set foot in the…

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