Calling all former activists

If you were previously an anti-apartheid activist we would like to hear from you. Email your story to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Borrow an exhibition

From April 2014 we will have a pop-up exhibition which will be available for loan. If you can suggest a venue where it can be displayed, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

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Video Mandela Concert at Wembley 1988


Video Anti-Apartheid Movement Hyde Park Rally 1988


Video Fruits of Fear campaigns film

Video Have You Heard From Johannesburg


These video interviews are taken from the award winning film series ‘Have You Heard from Johannesburg?’, a Clarity Films production, produced and directed by Connie Field.

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Forward to Freedom

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.

On this website you can find out how hundreds of thousands of people all over Britain took part in anti-apartheid activities. You can watch demonstrations and concerts, and hear from some of those involved. We hope you will find it interesting and look forward to hearing from you.

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.

News, events and features

  • Disobedient Objects at the V&A

    BadgesAnti-apartheid badges have made it to the V&A as part of the museum’s new ‘Disobedient Objects’ exhibition. They are on show alongside banners from UNITE and Greenham Common, Chilean folk art and objects from all over the world. The exhibition runs from 26 July to 1 February 2015.

    Take a look also at the AAM posters in the political posters display in Rooms 88a and 90 – part of a fascinating collection including posters from China, USSSR and nearer home, Stop the War, the 1984 miners strike and the suffragette movement.

  • Hamba kahle, Chris de Broglio

    Chris de BroglioChris de Broglio, one of the main movers behind apartheid South Africa’s exclusion from international sport, has died at his home in Corsica. Chris was a founding member of SANROC, the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee, and helped secure South Africa’s withdrawal from the 1964 and 1968 Olympics and its expulsion from the Olympic movement in 1970.

    Read more...  
  • Walking the Mendips

    Mendips walk2Bristol Action for Southern Africa supporters held their annual sponsored walk in the Mendips on Saturday 15 June – the 34th walk since anti-apartheid supporters first walked to raise funds for the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom School in 1980. You can watch their video blog here

    ACTSA Bristol and the University of Bristol are currently working together as part of an AHRC-funded Connected Communities project exploring the history of anti-apartheid activism in the city. Find out more at or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Browse an archive of photos and documents

selection of posters


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.

You can hear him talk about writing the song


 Learn about the history of the Anti-Apartheid Movement through the decades

pic6404In 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.

Read more about this history starting with the Boycott Movement in 1959, through the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust logoBODLEIAN-LIBRARIES-logoACTSA logoHeritage Lottery Fund logo