A pop-up exhibition ‘Forward to Freedom: The history of the Anti-Apartheid Movement’ is available on loan. If you want to borrow it or can suggest a venue where it can be displayed contact us by email
(22 lightweight A2 boards)
Forward to Freedom tells the story of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement and its campaigns to support the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid. The AAM also campaigned for freedom for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola, and against South Africa’s attacks on its neighbours.
The website is part of a wider education project set up by the AAM Archives Committee that includes a pop-up exhibition and learning resources. It has been funded by the Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and organised in partnership with Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).
The AAM archive is held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and is open to researchers on application for a Bodleian reader’s card. The archive of Wales AAM is at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwth and that of the Scottish AA Committee at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Follow us on Twitter: @aamarchives
For three decades the apartheid government organised illegal and undercover activities within the UK against the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the liberation movements. It launched a bomb attack on the ANC’s London headquarters, and sponsored arson attempts and burglaries at the AAM, ANC and SWAPO offices. It tried to infiltrate anti-apartheid organisations and spread misinformation about their campaigns. Officials at South Africa’s London embassy were implicated in illegal arms deals. In 1997 these activities were documented in evidence given to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission by the AAM Archives Committee. You can read the submission here.
Bristol Action for Southern Africa activists will hold their annual sponsored walk on Sunday 14 June. This will be the 35th walk since AAM activists first raised funds for the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in 1980. This year’s walk will support the Amai Mussanhane Women’s Project in Beira, Mozambique; Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa; Swazi UDF; and ACTSA’s Dignity.Period appeal. To sponsor a walker click here
Browse an archive of photos and documents
Former activists tell their stories
A significant part of this project was to record the experiences of former activists in Britain.
Jerry Dammers formed the Specials in Coventry in 1977. An anti-apartheid activist from his school days he helped start Artists Against Apartheid in the UK to campaign and help enforce the cultural boycott. He wrote the song, Free Nelson Mandela, which became an international hit and helped raise awareness of the plight of Mandela and political prisoners in South Africa.
Learn about the history of the Anti-Apartheid Movement through the decades
In 1964 Marlon Brando asked film directors, actors and producers to forbid the screening of their films before segregated audiences in South Africa on a visit to London. In this photograph he is at a press conference with the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty.
The Rolling Stones broke off negotiations for a South African tour and the Beatles announced they opposed apartheid.