Two centuries after Sarah Baartman died,after years spent in European “freak shows”,now rumours over a possible Hollywood film about Baartman’s life have sparked controversy.
Sarah Baartman died on 29 December 1815, but her exhibition continued.
She was an African woman tricked, sent to Europe, renamed Sarah Baartman and paraded around “freak shows” in London and Paris, with crowds invited to look at her large buttocks.
Her brain, skeleton and sexual organs remained on display in a Paris museum until 1974. Her remains weren’t repatriated and buried until 2002.
Brought to Europe seemingly on false pretences by a British doctor, stage-named the “Hottentot Venus”, she was paraded around “freak shows” in London and Paris, with crowds invited to look at her large buttocks.
Today she is seen by many as the epitome of colonial exploitation and racism, of the ridicule and commodification of black people.