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Photograph by Graeme Williams
Mandela with a raised fist, moments after his release from prison (after 27 years) on February 11, 1990.
The U.S. premiere of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, a rich sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media and objects, explores the earthshaking fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa – and its relevance to issues of today. Visitors can experience the tiny cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, take a stand in front of a giant 22-foot long by 9-foot tall armored vehicle, make a virtual protest poster on a digital light table, or enter a secret apartment for freedom fighters forced underground.
Among its many dramatic visual features, the exhibition replicates Mandela’s eight-foot by seven-foot prison cell. When entered, the cell becomes a digital theatre whose walls tell a story of repression and resilience. Other exhibition highlights include a 16-foot high “wall of laws” based solely on skin color, and original artifacts including police riot gear, tools of hard labor, letters written by Mandela, segregated swimming and toilet signs, and more.
Mandela’s unbreakable will inspired people around the globe to mobilize for human rights. Born 102 years ago, he was one of the most famous human rights defenders of the 20th century and the face of a movement against racial injustice that rocked the world. Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990 and continued the fight to abolish apartheid. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 jointly with South African President F.W. de Klerk, Mandela was elected South Africa’s president the following year during the country’s first democratic elections.
Mandela: Struggle for Freedom was developed by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) (Winnipeg, Canada) in partnership with the Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg, South Africa). Tour management services provided by Lord Cultural Resources. The CMHR is grateful to The Asper Foundation, TD Bank Group, Travel Manitoba and Air Canada for supporting this international tour. [Organizer's description]