This picture shows Italian performance artist Vanessa Beecroft and orphaned Sudanese twins she tried to adopt

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A bogus Facebook post claiming to show a white Australian woman who married a man from South Sudan and gave birth to the “darkest twins ever” has been shared dozens of times online. The claim is false; the image is of Italian-born performance artist Vanessa Beecroft posing with Sudanese twins during the shooting of a film titled: “The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins”.

“An Australian woman gave birth to twins and there father is a south Sudanese (sic),” reads one Facebook post from December 15, 2020.

A screenshot of the false Facebook post taken on December 29, 2020

Included in the post is an image of a white woman nursing two black babies.

The same image appears in another post with a similar claim that reads: “White/ Australian woman married to South Sudanese man, gave birth to darkest twin ever”.

A screenshot of the false Facebook post taken on December 29, 2020

The claims, however, are false.

Italian artist

The woman in the picture is not Australian, nor is there any evidence that she is married to a South Sudanese man. The babies are not hers either.

A reverse image search on Google reveals that the woman is Vanessa Beecroft, an Italian performance artist. According to reports (here and here), Beecroft posed for the picture during a film she was shooting titled: “The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins”.

The film follows the artist’s attempt to adopt orphaned Sudanese twins who she met and breastfed during her 2006 trip to Sudan, five years before the country split and the south gained independence. However, the adoption did not go through. 

Beecroft's work with the twins attracted controversy, and in 2009 she said she received death threats after being accused of exploiting the children. The photograph was exhibited again in 2015 at a German museum exhibition about representations of the concept of charity.