SECRETS OF THE HUMAN ZOOS (AKA BRITAIN'S HUMAN ZOOS)

In a shocking and emotional expose, Nadifa Mohamed reveals how African people were trafficked to Western countries for entertainment – and experimentation.

Starting in the 1890s, millions of Europeans and Americans encountered “native” Africans for the first time in person – in so-called “human zoos.” This deeply strange but once hugely popular form of “entertainment” starring trafficked people has been all but forgotten. Until now. 

In her first documentary, acclaimed Somali-British novelist Nadifa Mohamed takes us on a remarkable journey, recreating what it was like to live in a human zoo. She unearths hidden documents, discovers never before broadcast early film and audio of the performers and tracks down their descendants. Then, in a shocking climax, Nadifa reveals how they were used for pseudo scientific race experiments – and exposes how some of their remains can be found in museums to this day.

"Extraordinary [stories]." THE RADIO TIMES
"Picks of the day." THE TIMES
"Picks of the weekend." THE I
"Startling." THE GUARDIAN
"Fascinating but distressing film." THE GUARDIAN
"Pick of the day." THE GUARDIAN
"Pick of the day - deeply affecting." THE SUN
"What to watch this week." THE BRITISH BLACK LIST
"Pick of the day." TV & SATELLITE WEEK
"Picks of the week." TOTAL TV GUIDE
"Shocking expose." CLOSER MAGAZINE
"Top 20 TV Picks." CLOSER MAGAZINE
**** [Four Stars] IRISH INDEPENDENT
"Startling." IRISH INDEPENDENT
"Fascinating." WHAT'S ON TV
"Pick of the day." WHAT'S ON TV

GENRES

Documentary / History

DURATION

1 x one hour

BROADCASTER

Channel 4

YEAR OF PRODUCTION

2023

PRODUCED BY

Red Bicycle

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION

UK

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