the human zoo

The Netherlands has a great tradition of documentary film making, by Joris Ivens, Bert Haanstra, Johan van der Keuken, and many others, I share a short classic by Haanstra, his 1962 Zoo, filmed in Artis. A simple hidden camera experiment to highlight our kinship with animals.

With the simplest of means, just looking, the distinction between us, the knowing species, and the rest becomes very fuzzy. In general this message cannot be repeated enough as it needs to overcome a deeply engrained cultural conditioning of human exceptionalism. More specifically, urban exploits become much more fun when one manages to see the city for the zoo it is.

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