Three decades of activist material from what is one of Great Britain’s most intensive international grassroots political organizations is now online. The posters, documents, photographs, and other materials from the British Anti-Apartheid Movement that concentrated on South African politics and human rights from 1959 to 1994 were digitized in collaboration with Oxford’s Bodleian Library.
Called Forward to Freedom: the History of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement 1959-1994, the site was launched last week. Previously you had to journey all the way to the Bodleian Library to access the footage, letters, and ephemera from the AAM. The pressure group ended after South Africa’s first democratic elections and transitioned into the ACTSA that continues to devote itself to issues in southern Africa. Along with the digital materials, the site also hosts interviews with over 50 activists who were involved over the years.
Christabel Gurney of the AAM told the Guardian:
“I hope this will interest a new generation in what was achieved. I think there are lots of places and situations in the world now, which may not be quite as straightforward in a way, but where small things that don’t seem very successful for a long time […] can build up and achieve something.”
Like the Interference Archive in Brooklyn and other efforts to make activism materials available, hopefully there will be some inspiration for contemporary groups in how to structure a movement for a country that might be totally disassociated from it. Nelson Mandela was an unknown name when the group began — now there’s a statue of him in Parliament Square. It is also an opportunity to evaluate the impact of groups like this in the broader history of politics, and look at some of the more controversial sides of activism that was dedicated so far from home. Some critiqued the AAM during its existence for not devoting the same energy to domestic racial issues.
Nevertheless, the materials online, particularly the posters and pamphlets, are a vivid representation of political graphics from the most radical decades of the 20th century (even Kenny Scharf has a contribution to the AAM). Every material was constructed as tinder for what the activists hoped would be a fire to catch the country in a passion against injustice.
View the complete archive of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement on the Forward to Freedom site.
Some museums are opting for new language to describe the preserved individuals in their collections who were once living humans.
Presented by Northwestern’s Block Museum and McCormick School of Engineering, this new exhibition seeks empathy at the boundaries of life. On view in Evanston, Illinois.
Located in Des Moines, Iowa, this residency for emerging and established artists includes studio and living space, a $1,000 monthly stipend, and more.
As art history buffs on the app have pointed out, both movements attribute meaning to the meaningless.
Multiple posts about the film have been taken down on Twitter, many of them following the government’s removal requests.
This week, blonde hair supremacy, Salman Rushdie’s new novel, and why do boutique shops all look the same?
Fayneese Miller is under fire after the school failed to renew the contract of an adjunct who showed artworks depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
Fully-funded teaching assistantships are standard for MFA students at the top-ranked, flagship research university in the state of New York.
Hundreds of visitors were evacuated from the Incan site over the weekend.
The artist’s works resonate in West Texas, where the story of dehumanized and exploited migrant laborers is tangible and ever-present.
A posthumous show of Price’s work is curated by James Hart of Phil Space, the self-proclaimed “gallerist of death.”
She has raised generations of Bay Area artists and changed the local landscape with her public artworks, colleagues tell Hyperallergic.