24 March 2016

Gallery: Posters honouring Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day, which is on the 21 March, commemorates those who made sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. We, as South Africans, celebrate Human Rights Day in remembrance of those who were involved in the Sharpeville Massacre. The Sharpeville Massacre involved a group of black South Africans marching to Sharpeville Station to protest the pass laws, which were compulsory identity documents that black South Africans had to keep on them wherever they travelled. This protest led to policemen opening fire on unarmed protestors. This resulted in 69 protestors being killed and a further 180 being injured. The injustices of this day exposed the apartheid government’s deliberate violation of human rights to the world. Although the Sharpeville Massacre gained worldwide attention, the 21 March, which is now known as Human Rights Day, was only officially declared a public holiday in 1994 following the inauguration of former president Nelson Mandela. This public holiday reminds South Africans of the Sharpeville Massacre and allows us as South Africans to celebrate South Africa’s constitution, which gives equal rights to all.

By depicting some of our posters from the SAHA Poster Collection (AL2446), we would like to honour those who sacrificed so much to fight for our basic rights.

      Sticker commemorating the Sharpeville massacre, date unknown. Archived as SAHA collection AL2540_D0185Poster commemorating the Sharpeville massacre. Archived as SAHA collection AL2446_1184


 Sharpeville massacre, 21 March 1960. Source: The International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF). Archived as SAHA collection AL2547_24.3.5.Sharpeville massacre, 21 March 1960. Source: The International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF). Archived as SAHA collection AL2547_24.3.4


AL2446_0628 AL2446_1779 AL2446_1149 AL2446_1337 AL2446_1915 AL2446_1652 AL2446_1905 AL2446_0489

See inventory for the SAHA Poster Collection (AL2446)

See inventory for the SAHA Original Photograph collection (AL2547)