Signs of Solidarity – A Moving Testimony of Apartheid in South Africa

Fresh from its debut at the National Arts Festival, the Signs of Solidarity exhibition comes to The University of the Witwatersrand courtesy of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Pretoria) and the Embassy of South Africa in The Hague.

The powerful images in the exhibition represent the mood seen in the demonstrations that took place at the South African Embassy in The Hague in 1963, the Culture in Another South Africa Conference (CASA) in 1987 in Amsterdam and the visit of Nelson Mandela to Amsterdam shortly after his release from prison.

The exhibition retells the story of when the ruling Nationalist Party in South Africa declared apartheid as the legislated policy for the country in 1948. As history progressed Dutch citizens became more and more disenchanted and felt the need to demonstrate their solidarity with the oppressed majority in South Africa.

Support for the struggle against Apartheid became a national objective in the Netherlands in the late eighties. Nelson Mandela’s visit to the Netherlands in 1990 shortly after his release was an acknowledgement of the Dutch position against apartheid.

“The role of Dutch artists in their fight against apartheid is well documented. Post-1994, the solidarity of Dutch artists with South Africa has resulted into meaningful partnerships showcased by several mutual cultural exchanges between our two nations”, said Ismail Mahomed, the Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival.

Signs of Solidarity is a moving testimony of Dutch support for South Africans in their fight against apartheid and comes to South Africa as the country celebrates 20 years of democracy.

“This exhibition tells the story of a people who didn’t accept the injustices of Apartheid. The fascinating experiences of a solidarity movement that changed Dutch politics are still meaningful today” said Bart Luirink.

The exhibition is on from 8- 30 September 2014 and can be viewed in the Senate House of the University of the Witwatersrand between 8am and 7pm. The same exhibition will move to Freedom Park during October 2014 and will tour South Africa in 2014 and 2015.

The exhibition is a production of ZAM, the Amsterdam based platform for African talent, Paul Faber (curator) and Dave Hoop (design). For more information please visit

For more information on the exhibition please contact Vera Wiedemeijer at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on

Author: PR Officer

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