17 July 2018

Madiba's Memory: preserving memory of the man rather than the icon

AL2446_1125 RELEASE MANDELA, & all political prisoners

The 18th of July is Mandela day, a day of remembrance to mark the day on which Nelson Mandela was born in 1918. This year it is 100 years since his birth. As time goes by the living memories of Mandela the man are less and the icon or representation of a man comes to the fore. The Iconography of Mandela is now used by different groups for different agendas. As time progresses it will be the archival record which is increasingly important in defining how Mandela is viewed.


SAHA as an archive dedicated to the struggle has many resources that relate either directly or indirectly to Mandela’s role in the anti-apartheid struggle. These vary from the campaigns organisations ran for the release of struggle leaders; photographs at different stages; posters using artistic depictions as photographs of Mandela once on Robben Island were restricted, to speeches given by Mandela once he was released. These are some of the wealth of resources SAHA holds. By maintaining the archival record, it is possible for a fuller and more nuanced portrayal of Madiba the man to emerge.



Nelson Mandela in the SAHA collections

T-shirt from SAHA Ephemera Collection

A wide variety of research material related to Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress, and the struggle movement is available in SAHA's collections.

For speeches and statements by Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and other ANC icons, please see specific references in The Original SAHA collection (AL2457) 

For posters depicting Nelson Mandela See the SAHA poster collection. 

Videos of Mandela’s visit to the site of the Constitutional Court in the Constitution Hill Trust Collection AL3295. 

UDF national Release Mandela campaign in the SAHA United Democratic Front Collection AL2431

Or photographs of Mandela during Treason Traials. 

The SAHA ephemeara Collection AL2540 also contains objects with represenations of Mandela on them.