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Olivier Razac, The Screen and the ZOO

Big Brother is watching us from TV screens. Let us return the look with reading the penetrating book, which discloses the extraordinary similarity between the zoos, former ethnographic exhibitions of African tribes and today’s reality shows!

In a subtly written study the French philosopher and historian of the younger generation analyses reality shows through the discussion of historical instances of exposure of privacy and daily life of non-European people at the great world exhibitions on the break of the 20th century and of the exposing to view the privacy of animals in zoos. With this he displays the extraordinary similarity between the bygone human zoos and present television shows. The domesticated wild man is no longer put to display, but the everyday life of “real” people. In a similar manner as the reassuring image of the exotic man has once been produced our lives are now being domesticated.

“In this spectacle the one who is put to display is placed in a scenography which imitates his natural environment. He is trained according to directing instructions and presented so as to suit the audience expectations. Yet, there is something both in the zoo and on the screen which cannot be presented by the reality show; namely the wild gesture of the untamed animal, the free savage or the unstable individuality of the one, who cannot be successfully defined.” 










The book was published in Slovenian language.


Slovene edition. 

Regular price: 15 EUR 

25 % discount for Maska subscribers: 11.25 EUR

Publication description

232 pages, BW illustrations, 12x16 cm