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Mandela: The Official Exhibition Opens in Leake Street SE1

Mandela: The Official Exhibition Opens in Leake Street SE1

Mandela: The Official Exhibition is the major new global touring exhibition that takes visitors on a personal journey through the life of the world’s most iconic freedom fighter and political leader. A revolutionary experience that celebrates his life and legacy, the exhibition makes its World Premiere at 26 Leake Street Gallery at Waterloo’s Graffiti Tunnels – the perfect home for this one-of-a-kind exhibition from February 8th 2019. Main image: Apartheid sign

Through a series of immersive zones – each one a dramatically different experience – the narrative of the takes us on a journey through a remarkable life. An interactive experience covering 750 square metres, the exhibition features previously unseen film, photos and the display of over 150 historical artefacts and personal effects on loan from the Mandela family, museums and archives worldwide.

Zone 2 - Ceremonial Leopard-skin Headdress (2)
Zone 2 – Ceremonial Leopard-skin Headdress

Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela says of the exhibition:

The Royal House of Mandela is delighted to endorse this exhibition honouring the life and legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela as it truly captures the spirit of our global icon whose name has become synonymous with international solidarity, justice and peace. It succeeds in quintessentially depicting the man and the legend whose struggle and sacrifice has captivated the hearts and minds of millions around the world. This exhibition is truly an inspiration and an inspired effort; I believe that everyone who sees it will agree that the legacy lives on and that the dream will never die”. 

Specially created for the world premiere’s host city, Mandela: The Official Exhibition will host a one-off zone explore the UK’s significant relationship with the Anti-Apartheid movement. The Anti-Apartheid in Britain section of the exhibition traces the relationship Britain had with the South African exiles – including Oliver Tambo and other ANC members and other political and liberationist movements banned by the apartheid government; the video element of this section includes exclusive interview footage with high profile campaigners, poet Lemn Sissay MBE and politician Lord Hain and a previously unseen scene from the London Recruits Film. Objects on display in this section include never seen before manuscripts, loaned by Mr X (aka William Frankel OBE) detailing the transference of funds for legal and welfare assistance of high-profile liberationists and their families and ephemera from the antiapartheid movement. One highlight is the chance to hear Ronnie Kasrils, ANC operative (later post democracy Chief of Intelligence) calling attendees to undertake a secret information distribution mission… will you accept? Heritage partners here include the Anti-Apartheid Movement Archives, Canon Collins Trust and London Recruits Film.

  • The Early Years features a replica of a traditional rondavel set among the rolling hills of the Transkei. This section examines both the traditional Thembu culture and the life of a rural farm boy via a variety of traditional artefacts.
  • The Struggle is My Life uses participatory media to enable visitors to feel the hardships of apartheid exploring themes that include the degradation of segregation, the pass burning movement of the Defiance campaign and the harshness of police brutality.
  • Prison Years recreates the tall stone tower and sounds of Robben Island and uses Nelson Mandela’s words and letters in a powerful AV experience of life in his prison cell.
  • Anti-Apartheid in Britain celebrates the contributions of British trade unions, celebrities and individuals that helped bring about the end of the apartheid government.
  • Freedom? presents the violence of the early 1990s through original news footage of the day and celebrates the miracle of the first democratic election.
  • Healing a Nationshares iconic objects and video contributions by family members, former staff and famous names including Neneh Cherry, Peter Gabriel and Lewis Hamilton, to show how Nelson Mandela united South Africa and inspired the world.
  • A Moment with Mandela gives each visitor the opportunity to hear directly from Madiba inspiring the next generation to pick up the torch and carry on the legacy

A portion of the exhibition proceeds will be given to the Mvezo Development Trust to support economic development programmes in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

When: Friday February 8th – Sunday 2nd June 2019

See Also

Where: 26 Leake Street | South Bank | London | SE1 7NN (nearest Tube Waterloo) | Dedicated Booking Line: 0844 453 9094.

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