Theater performance: The Truth Commission

  • Date: 05 April 20:00 - 22:30
  • Location: Nieuwspoort

Theater performance about exhibited humans in the Netherlands

With the first ever Truth Commission in the Netherlands, Chokri Ben Chikha/Action Zoo Humain calls attention to the underexposed, colonial legacy of the human zoo. Until deep into the 20th century, the Netherlands too exhibited thousands of men, women and children as "exotic," "wild" and "primitive" in so-called "human zoos. Think for example of the Surinamese and Indonesians exhibited at the World Exhibition in Amsterdam (1883), the Indische Tentoonstelling in Arnhem (1928), the Senegalese village on the Nenijto in Rotterdam (1928) and Kampong Insulinde in The Hague (1898).

Does the human zoo still influence social thinking today? Aren't the ethnic profiling by the police, the surcharge scandal at the tax office, but also the 'innocent' sharing of images on social media of that 'exotic' trip, examples of this?

Come and judge for yourself during this unique and one-off location performance. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and King Willem-Alexander recently apologized for the slavery past. The Truth Commission picks up on that and gets to work on what might follow after the famous comma. Put yourself in the problematic curiosity of the visitors, the experiences of the peoples exhibited and the colonial propaganda machine of the organizers.

Modeled after South Africa's "Truth and Reconciliation Commission," witnesses speak out in words, pictures and movement. Former politician Kathleen Ferrier and Mpho Tutu of Furth, daughter of the recently deceased South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as chairpersons are leading everything in the right direction.

If necessary, also read this article published in Trouw.

Tickets for the performance in the Senate on April 4, 2024 and in Nieuwspoort on April 5, 2024 are available through this link.


Bezuidenhoutseweg 40
2511 CL, Den Haag

Show on map

Sign Up