White Lady – Black Lady

by Celine Graber

The so-called ‘White Lady’, a rock art painting in the Brandberg/Daureb in western Namibia, is one of the most emblematic rock art images in Africa, first photographed by Anneliese and Ernst Rudolf Scherz. The exhibition used the image as a starting point for students from the University of Basel to explore the background of the Scherz’s photographic archive, with a particular focus on everyday research and photographic practices. The exhibition showed suprising re-enactments and visual transformations, including the so-called ‘Black Lady’, a photograph by Anneliese Scherz of the researcher Mary Boyle’s profile sylised as a ‘black’ silhouette. As usual, the BAB exhibition in Basel and Windhoek (and, later, also in Uis) was accompanied by workshops on colonial photography and researcher’s archives.

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