31 January 2013

Repatriation of anti-apartheid posters from the Netherlands

Poster archived at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) produced in the UK on a campaign on Southern Africa. Postermaker and date unknown.In early 2013, SAHA will be assisting in the transfer of anti-apartheid posters and other archival materials from the International Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands to SAHA and other relevant archives in South Africa.

In March 2008 the International Institute for Social History acquired an extensive collection of archival materials relating to the anti-apartheid and Southern Africa solidarity groups in The Netherlands. This collection concerned the archives and related library and documentation collections of the former anti-apartheid groups which merged into the Netherlands institute for Southern Africa (NiZA) in 1997: Dutch   Anti-Apartheid Movement, Angola Committee/Holland Committee on Southern Africa, Eduardo Mondlane Foundation, Institute for Southern Africa and Broadcasting for Radio Freedom.

During the processing of this collection by IISH archivist and former anti-apartheid activist Kier Schuringa, a significant amount of spare copy materials was identified and the decision was made to transfer these to relevant archival institutions in South Africa, with the support of the Dutch Embassy in Pretoria.

As part of this process, SAHA will be receiving over 1300 original posters relating to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and internationally to complement SAHA’s existing collection – AL2446: The SAHA Poster CollectionPrimarily produced by international solidarity movements from the 1970s to 1990s against apartheid and in support of human rights issues within South Africa, these posters relate to political prisoners, the struggles of workers, women and children, boycotts against South African goods, such as Outspan, and the boycott against Shell Oil. Organisations represented include the British Anti-Apartheid Movement and solidarity movements in Germany, France, Belgium, Scandinavia, Portugal, the USA and Canada. There is also a large number of posters produced in solidarity with the liberation struggles in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Guinea Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands, as well as South African posters produced by CAP, MEDU, various trade unions and women's organisations. 

There will be a limited number of duplicate posters, along with some periodicals and other publications about struggles for justice in Southern Africa, available for distribution to other archives, libraries and heritage organisations on behalf of the IISH.

If you would like to learn more about this process, please contact archives@saha.org.za


For more information, please see: 

NiZA / IISH web dossier: The Netherlands against Apartheid 1948-19

IISH Anti-Apartheid and Southern Africa Collection Guide