Anti-Apartheid Movement history website

Arianna Lissoni Discussion

Forward to freedom: the history of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1959–1994


Anti-Apartheid Movement history website

For over three decades the Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigned for a boycott of apartheid South Africa and support for all those struggling against it. Founded in 1959 as the Boycott Movement, the AAM grew into the biggest ever British pressure group on an international issue.

A new website ‘Forward to Freedom: The history of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1959–1994’ features video, photographs, posters and documents from the AAM’s archive at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Highlights are footage of the Wembley stadium Nelson Mandela tribute concert in 1988, iconic posters from campaigns to save the Rivonia trialists from the gallows in 1964 and to stop the Springbok cricket tour in 1970, and letters from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher arguing against sanctions on South Africa.

The website includes more than 50 interviews with former anti-apartheid campaigners, including musician Jerry Dammers, actor Louis Mahoney, Lord David Steel, AAM President in the 1960s, and grassroots activists who tell what motivated them to get involved.

It shows the wide range of interest groups who took action against apartheid, from students who campaigned for universities to disinvest in the 1970sto British trade unionists who supported resurgent South African trade unions to church groups who campaigned for South Africa’s withdrawal from occupied Namibia.

The website is part of a wider education project that includes a pop-up exhibition with 22 display boards on anti-apartheid campaigns and support groups.

An education pack for Key Stage 3 is in course of preparation.

The project is funded by the Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information contact:

Christabel Gurney

+44 20 8969 0915

+44 7815478420