21 March 2010

New web address for UDF virtual exhibition

In August 2008, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African History Archive (SAHA) joined forces to develop a virtual exhibition to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the United Democratic Front (UDF), using posters and photographs from the archives to explore the vital role the UDF played in bringing democracy to South Africa. Contributors to the initial development and design of the virtual exhibition included Judy Seidman, Razia Saleh, Marion Isaacson, Catherine Kennedy and the team at Flow Communications and the virtual exhibition has been hosted on the Nelson Mandela Site at http://www.nelsonmandela.org/udf since the launch.

SAHA has now taken over the hosting of the virtual exhibition so as to facilitate the ongoing expansion of this virtual exhibition, identifying and incorporating more archival artefacts from SAHA and other archives to offer a more complete telling of this period in South African history.

The UDF virtual exhibition can now be accessed at http://www.saha.org.za/udf25.

This exhibition is far from comprehensive. In fact, there are generally notable gaps in documentation relating to the UDF's history, particularly from Natal and the Northern Transvaal. These gaps highlight the severe repression, the uncertainty, the escalation of violence that marked this period in South African history and restricted the process of record creation and preservation within the UDF.

Reflecting SAHA's origins as an organisation established by UDF affliliates, a broad range of UDF-related materials from a number of collections at SAHA are being added to the exhibition over the next few months. Digital Innovation South Africa (DISA) have already contributed valuable materials to this growing project and we invite contributions from other organisations and archives  that would complement this exhibition.

If you would like to contribute to this exhibition or would like any further information about our virtual exhibitions, please contact SAHA