Venus Noire ‘Black Venus’ The Sarah Baartman Story+Pics

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  
-George Santayana, 1863–1953, philosopher

A caricature of Baartman drawn in the early 19th century
Born Before 1790[1]
Near Gamtoos River, Eastern Cape, Dutch Empire
Died December 29, 1815
Paris, France
Resting place Vergaderingskop, Hankey, Eastern Cape, South Africa
33.8372°S 24.8848°ECoordinates: 33.8372°S 24.8848°E
Other names Hottentot Venus
Ethnicity Khoikhoi
Occupation "freak show" performer

The story of Saartjes Baartman, a Black domestic who, in 1808, left Southern Africa, then ruled by Dutch settlers, for Europe, following her boss Hendrick Caesar , hoping to find fame and fortune there. Once in London her master turned manager does nothing but exhibit her as a freak in a phony and humiliating carnival show. After a series of troubles caused by their act, Caesar, Saartje and their new friend, bear-tamer Réaux, head for Paris where once again, and against her will, she has to mimic savagery and expose her body, first in carnivals, then in the aristocratic salons of Paris, later on among the libertines and finally in brothels where she ends up being a prostitute. In the meantime, French anatomists will have taken an interest in her unusual anatomy (enormous buttocks and labia) only to declare her the missing link from ape to man. In 1815, aged only 27, she dies alone, of a combination of pneumonia and venereal disease
Venus Noire (“Black Venus”) is a recent French film about Sarah Baartman – who toured Europe as Hottentot Venus.
How many “Sara Baartmans” do we have today?  Women who strive to become the next “video vixen” or centerfold for a few dollars and fleeting fame.  Women who voluntarily allow on-lookers to poke, prod and exploit them.  It’s important we know our history and not repeat the same mistakes.  Check out this powerful video about the life and death of Sara Baartman.This story is really messed up.This is how stripping came about, every young woman needs to here this story.Young women you are Queens not a Show!

Black Venus (French: Vénus noire) is a 2010 French drama film directed by Abdellatif Kechiche. It is based on the life of Sarah Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman who in the early 19th century was exhibited in Europe under the name "Hottentot Venus".[1] The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.

She paraded through the halls and private residences of Europe and spectators delighted in her “highly abnormal” anatomy – pronounced buttocks and sex organs. The movie was a disturbing portrait of objectification of both the character and actress Yahima Torres, who plays Baartman. Viewers are left wondering to what degree was Baartman genuinely complicit in her ‘captivity’. In many ways, I see the same story writ large in our culture via the objectification of all women. The ways in which we “reward” women for having certain measurements or prominent features are varied and disturbing – especially since we all know true beauty and worth is not at all about how you look.

A poem for Sarah Baartman
By Diana Ferrus “I’ve come to take you home –
home, remember the veld?
the lush green grass beneath the big oak trees
the air is cool there and the sun does not burn.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill,
your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
the proteas stand in yellow and white
and the water in the stream chuckle sing-songs
as it hobbles along over little stones.
I have come to wretch you away –
away from the poking eyes
of the man-made monster
who lives in the dark
with his clutches of imperialism
who dissects your body bit by bit
who likens your soul to that of Satan
and declares himself the ultimate god!
I have come to soothe your heavy heart
I offer my bosom to your weary soul
I will cover your face with the palms of my hands
I will run my lips over lines in your neck
I will feast my eyes on the beauty of you
and I will sing for you
for I have come to bring you peace.
I have come to take you home
where the ancient mountains shout your name.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill,
your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
the proteas stand in yellow and white –
I have come to take you home
where I will sing for you
for you have brought me peace.”

To what extent are we showcasing our own bodies/appearances, and what are we getting in return? While our situation is very different than hers, one thing remains clear — while we may invite attention by ‘exhibiting’ what we believe to be winning assets, at no point do we waive consent over our bodies.

13 What you Think?:

preta4 at: October 2, 2013 at 8:56 AM said...

From what I've read from the 'original papers', there is NO proof that this woman EVER became a prostitute, and that she was able to 'support' herself up until the day that she died. So, if this is true, how can we find out for sure?

Anonymous at: February 15, 2014 at 9:51 PM said...

You sre stupid as you sound

Aidan at: April 2, 2014 at 7:09 PM said...

Anonymous. Preta4 is no where near as stupid as you. She can spell.

Anonymous at: July 14, 2014 at 7:39 AM said...

she abused and its ignorant for you to even suggest otherwise. she was victimized and it was terrible.

Mickey James at: August 18, 2014 at 6:22 AM said...

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Anonymous at: September 29, 2014 at 5:57 PM said...

So where does vaginal rejuvenation come in???......n to make t worse Ts a Mickey James bringing this up...damn!!!��

Anonymous at: February 4, 2015 at 9:16 AM said...

read the book or watch the movie.

Anonymous at: March 17, 2015 at 4:21 PM said...

No One But GOD and Ms Sara Will Ever Know The Full True Story
We Do Know She Was Abused
RIP Ms Sara
And I Hope Your Story As We Know
Change Lives

Anonymous at: March 7, 2016 at 12:58 PM said...

We all know the whites gave her kno choice. You all can be in denial

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