Cultural boycott

pic8418. Sheffield AA supporters at the Crucible Theatre

Over 500 people picketed the opening night of Funny Girl, starring Marti Caine, at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in 1984. They were protesting against Marti Caine’s 14-month contract at Sun City and her outspoken defence of South Africa. Local Equity members signed a petition supporting the protest. The Crucible later agreed with Sheffield Council that it would not employ actors who appeared on the UN Register of performers who had appeared in South Africa.

pic8504. Actors against apartheid

Members of the actors’ union Equity called for the resignation of Equity President Derek Bond after he performed for whites-only audiences in South Africa. Bond campaigned to reverse Equity’s support for the cultural boycott. Equity members picketed the first night of a play at Theatre Royal, Nottingham, in which Bond played a starring role.

pic8609. Performers Against Racism

Lenny Henry and David Yip were among the 200 entertainers at the launch of Performers Against Racism on 26 January 1986. They pledged to boycott all links with apartheid South Africa. The launch was triggered by a referendum in the actors union Equity seeking to relax the cultural boycott. Performers against Racism called for the boycott to be extended to films and video as well as radio and television.

pic8610. Artists against Apartheid

Big Audio Dynamite, Hugh Masekela, Maxi Priest, Madness and Jerry Dammers with AAM President Trevor Huddleston.

80s45. ‘Support the cultural boycott!’

Controversy surrounded singer Paul Simon’s visit to South Africa to record the album Graceland, released in 1986. The AAM and Artists Against Apartheid condemned it as a breach of the cultural boycott. The UN Special Committee Against Apartheid placed Paul Simon on its register of artists who had broken the boycott. Paul Simon defended himself on the grounds that the album showcased the talents of black South African musicians. This leaflet advertised a protest outside a concert by Paul Simon at the Royal Albert Hall in April 1987.

pic8713. Demonstration at Paul Simon concert

Controversy surrounded singer Paul Simon’s 1986 visit to South Africa to record the ‘Graceland’ album. The AAM argued that the visit broke the cultural boycott of South Africa. The UN Special Committee against Apartheid put Paul Simon on its register of artists who had performed in South Africa. This picture shows anti-apartheid supporters outside a concert given by Paul Simon at the Royal Albert Hall on 7 April 1987.

pic8714. Demonstration at Paul Simon concert

Controversy surrounded singer Paul Simon’s 1986 visit to South Africa to record the ‘Graceland’ album. The AAM argued that the visit broke the cultural boycott of South Africa. The UN Special Committee against Apartheid put Paul Simon on its register of artists who had performed in South Africa. The photograph shows musician Jerry Dammers outside the Royal Albert Hall on 7 April 1987 with a letter from Artists Against Apartheid. The letter asked Paul Simon to apologise for his visit and give a pledge that he would not repeat it.

pic8711. Royal Shakespeare Company against Apartheid

Members of the Royal Shakespeare Company joined protests against the invitation to the South African Embassy to take part in the annual Shakespeare birthday celebrations at Stratford in April 1987. Fifty countries pulled out after the organisers refused to withdraw the invitation to South Africa.