Staged Otherness

Late nineteenth century staging culture and the promise of thrilling strangeness.

The cultural phenomenon of exhibiting non-European people in front of European audiences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries occurred mainly in the metropolises of the western part of the continent. Nevertheless, travelling ethnic troupes and temporary exhibitions of non-European people could also be seen in Central and Eastern Europe.

The exhibition offers a variety of representations related to the public practice of ethnographic shows within the Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian Empires – today’s Russia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czechia, Slovenia – and presents the reactions of local audiences.

Dagnosław Demski @
Dominika Czarnecka

The exhibition is one of the results of the Inscenizowana inność. Ludzkie odmienności w Europie Środkowej, 1850–1939 (Staged Otherness: Human Oddities in Central Europe, 1850–1939) research project, funded by the National Science Centre, Grant No. UMO-2015/19/B/HS3/02143.

The project, led by Dagnosław Demski from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, was conducted between 2016 and 2021. In addition to the exhibition, the project also yielded a book—Demski Dagnosław, Dominika Czarnecka eds. 2021. Staged Otherness: Ethnic Shows in Central and Eastern Europe, 1850–1939. Budapest–Vienna–New York: CEU Press;more and two English-language special issues in academic periodicals, East Central Europe, vol.47/2020, nos. 2–3, thematic issue edited by Dagnosław Demski, Dominika Czarnecka, Kamila Baraniecka-Olszewska; more and Acta Ethnographica Hungarica, vol. 64/2019, no. 1, thematic issue edited by Izabela Kopania; more

© 2021
Copyright for use of the illustrations presented in the exhibition, which has been granted to the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences on the basis of single use for scientific and educational non-commercial use, belongs to the institutions from which the collections come.

+ Archive of the Naprstkovo museum, Prague
+ Archive of the Zoological Garden, Wrocław
+ Archive of the Zoological Garden, Poznań
+ Collection of the Russian State Library, Moscow
+ Collection of the Аleksey Shusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow
+ Collection of the Leo Tolstoy State Museum, Moscow
+ Cyryl. The Virtual Museum of Poznań’s History. Roman Trojanowicz collection
+ Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books, University of Latvia Academic Library
+ Kraków Ethnographic Museum
+ Musée du quai Branly (picture modified by Ludomir Franczak)
+ National Archive of the Czech Republic
+ National Museum Prague
+ Private Collection of Natalya Germanova, Rostov-on-Don
+ Radauer Collection
+ The State Archive in Łódź

Contact details:  
Dagnosław Demski @
Dominika Czarnecka @

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology,
Polish Academy of Sciences link
Zespół Etnografii Relacyjnej
(Relational Ethnography Team) link

Citer ce billet
Michèle Baussant (2021, 17 novembre). Staged Otherness. Mémoires défaites / Defeated memories. Consulté le 24 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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