Ruth Weiss_BAB 21
(c) Ruth Weiss Archiv, BAB

20.05.2017 - 17.09.2017

The Power of Words

An Audiovisual Portrait of the Journalist Ruth Weiss

The Power of Words (Die Macht der Worte) offers insights into the work of the author and journalist Ruth Weiss.

In this exhibition selected interviews are audible, which she conducted with leading figures of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Southern Africa from the 1960s to the 1980s. The questions and narrations brought up in the interviews invite us to immerge into the thoughts and experiences of Miriam Makeba, Oliver Tambo, Kenneth Kaunda, Libertine Amathila and Nadine Gordimer whose weapon in their fight agains the regime was first and foremost the word.

These historical recordings are part of the interview archive of Ruth Weiss which is preserved at the Basler Afrika Bibliographien (BAB). The narrations of the interviews are visualized through photos and texts from the same archive. These images and quotes underline the motivations of the interviewees and prompt questions, such as the question about the role Ruth Weiss played in the struggle against Apartheid.

Ruth Weiss, née Löwenthal, was born in Fürth, Germany in 1924. In view of the National Socialist regime, the family fled Germany and moved to South Africa. She grew up in Johannesburg and started a career as an economic journalist. Today she is seen as an important witness of the time of the Anti-Apartheid Struggle who actively commited herself and her work as an author and journalist to struggle against the racist regime in South Africa. 

The acoustic portrait of the journalist Ruth Weiss and the liberation movement in southern Africa was exhibited for the first time in 2014 by the Basler Afrika Bibliographien (BAB) under the title My very first question to you. In the same year it was shown at the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town. In 2016 the exhibition was presented in Lusaka at the Lusaka National Museum and the National Museums Board.


Artist Talk
Sa. 20.05.2017, 14.00 Uhr (In English)
aesthetics & activism -
In conversation with Ndidi Dike, Ruth Weiss & Talya Lubinsky

The artists of the summer exhibitions will be present and talk about their art in relation to activism.

Exhibition Tours
Guided tours through the exhibition take place regularly on the third Sunday of each month at 14.00 Uhr and are available in English and German.

Additional Exhibition Tours

Sa. 10.06.2017, 14.00 Uhr
Curator‘s guided tour 
A guided exhibition tour with one of the curators.

Sa. 08.07.2017, 14.00 Uhr
Curator‘s guided tour 
A guided exhibition tour with one of the curators.

Sa. 12.08.2017, 14.00 Uhr
Curator‘s guided tour 
A guided exhibition tour with one of the curators.

Sa. 09.09.2017, 18.00 Uhr
Art & Drinks and a guided exhibition tour.

Further guided exhibition tours for groups and in different languages are possible upon request.

Exhibition Tour incl. Admission 7,- Euro

20.05.2017 - 17.09.2017
19.05.2017 19:00
first floor
Alexandra Kuhnke
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5 Euro / 3 Euro reduced (for all four exhibitions)
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