Offensive photos comparing African people to wild animals were removed this week from a museum in China after complaints.
In the “This Is Africa” exhibit at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, photographs taken by Yu Huiping were placed side by side to compare animals and Black people with similar expressions. One photo displayed a child being compared to a screaming chimpanzee.
The museum received many complaints from Africans, as well as students living in China, the exhibit’s curator said in a statement to the New York Times.
Currently, China is Africa’s largest trading partner, meaning the country often hosts visitors from the continent.
The removal of the photographs comes after a popular app in China had to issue and apology for including a racial slur. On Friday, WeChat, a popular messaging app in China, apologized after the translation software translated “black foreigner” as the word “n****r.”
A curator at the museum’s exhibit, Wang Yuejun, said the decision to hang the photos of people and animals side by side was his, and not Huiping’s.
“The target of the exhibition is mainly a Chinese audience,” Wang told the New York Times. “In Chinese proverbs, animals are always used for admiration and compliment.”
However when the issue was brought to Wang, he said Wang said, “putting the photos of African tribespeople and animals together hurt the feelings of the African tribespeople,” and to “show respect for our African friends’ opinions,” the photos would be removed.
(Photo: USO/Getty Images)