My very first question to you

by Celine Graber

The exhibition ‘My very first question to you. An acoustic portrait of the journalist Ruth Weiss’ experimented with historical interview recordings from the BAB archives of the anti-apartheid journalist Ruth Weiss, on the occasion of her 90th birthday in 2014. Soundscapes as composed by Basel-based sound artist Ramon de Marco challenged listening conventions of transmitting Southern African history and exhibiting audio archives, a risky endeavour judging from the reactions in Basel, Cape Town, Lusaka and Bayreuth. As Ruth Weiss saw it: ‘The exhibition does not give the visitor any of the stories I have told you. But that does not really matter. The visitor can hear my questions and people answering these questions. After all, my life was made up of this questioning and answering’.

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