Red On Black: The Story Of The South African Poster Movement

'For me as craftsman, the act of creating art should complement the act of creating shelter for my family or liberating the country for my people. This is culture.'

- Thami Mnyele

In 2007, SAHA sponsored the publication of Red on Black: the Story of the South African poster movement by Judy Seidman, who was the SAHA poster curator at the time. This publication uses struggle posters, drawn predominantly from the SAHA Poster Collection (AL2446), to explore the history of these posters, providing an in-depth look into the artistic, political, and organisational forces within the South African poster movement.

Table of contents


Inherited images of defiance

Imaging struggle and change: apartheid and African nationalism

1970s rebirth

Out of the faceless ghettoes

Grassroots voices

Culture is a weapon of struggle

Building community voice

United Democratic Front

Uprising and repression: into the State of Emergency

From ungovernability to people's power

Community mobilisation through the 1980s

Art in the Emergency

Toward democracy in our time


Copies of Red on Black: The Story of the South African Poster Movement are available for purchase from bookshops or STE Publishers.

In the archives
Learn more about the related SAHA archival collection