HOUSTON – Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) announces the U.S. premiere of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, a rich sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media and objects used to explore the earthshaking fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa – and its relevance to issues of today. On view September 11 through January 3, 2021 at HMH’s Lester and Sue Smith Campus located at 5401 Caroline St., visitors can experience the tiny cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, take a stand in front of a giant 22-foot long by 9-foot tall armored vehicle, make a virtual protest poster on a digital light table, or enter a secret apartment for freedom fighters forced underground.
Among its many dramatic visual features, the exhibition replicates Mandela’s eight-foot by seven-foot prison cell. When entered, the cell becomes a digital theatre whose walls tell a story of repression and resilience. Other exhibition highlights include a 16-foot high “wall of laws” based solely on skin color, and original artifacts including police riot gear, tools of hard labor, letters written by Mandela, segregated swimming and toilet signs, and more.
Mandela’s unbreakable will inspired people around the globe to mobilize for human rights. Born 102 years ago this week (on July 18), he was one of the most famous human rights defenders of the 20th century and the face of a movement against racial injustice that rocked the world. Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990 and continued the fight to abolish apartheid. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 jointly with South African President F.W. de Klerk, Mandela was elected South Africa’s president the following year during the country’s first democratic elections.
“We’ve waited nearly two years to host this extraordinary exhibition,” said Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga, CEO of Holocaust Museum Houston. “The fight for social justice and human rights is not over, as witnessed from recent unrest in the U.S. and around the world. While many young people have never heard of apartheid, the movement behind Mandela spread across nations. This exhibition shares an important piece of global human rights history, so its lessons can reverberate today with a new generation.”
Mandela: Struggle for Freedom was developed by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) (Winnipeg, Canada) in partnership with the Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg, South Africa). Tour management services provided by Lord Cultural Resources. The CMHR is grateful to The Asper Foundation, Travel Manitoba, TD Bank Group and Air Canada for supporting this international tour.
The exhibition in Houston is sponsored by Wells Fargo. United Airlines is the official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston. For more information, visit hmh.org/Mandela.