The Colonial Spectacle: Sara Baartman and the Commodification of Black Bodies

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Aiswarya M.B.
Dr Anu S


The body has always been used as a way of cultural expression and social scrutiny. In the case of marginalised groups like black women, their bodies do carry added significance because of slavery, colonial and sexual oppression, and exploitation. The narratives around their bodies have been based on stereotypes and blatant racism. Their bodies have been commodified and fetishised for their ‘exotic’ features. They have been hypersexualized, characterized as deviant, and racially oppressed. This perpetuated a narrow view of what Black womanhood and sexuality meant. Black women’s relationship with their own bodies is deeply intertwined with the dynamics of power, resistance, and oppression. At the heart of this hypersexualized black womanhood lies the story of Sara Baartman or Hottentot Venus. By shedding light on her story, this article seeks to explore the complexities of Black womanhood and sexuality, their historical roots, and their   contemporary manifestations.


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How to Cite
Aiswarya M.B., and Dr Anu S. “The Colonial Spectacle: Sara Baartman and the Commodification of Black Bodies”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 9, no. 1, Feb. 2024, pp. 36-41,
Research Articles


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