Symbol of hope. Political leader. Restless fighter. Role model and activist. There are countless of reasons standing behind Nelson Mandela’s legacy as one of the key figures of the 20th century and this new exhibition coming to the Southbank today aims to unpack them all. Mandela’s hunger for human rights has inspired action around the world and, similarly, the exhibition honouring his legacy is following suit. Touring the world, with previous fixtures including New York and Canada, Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition aims to bring the South African’s personal story to the audience of London and hopefully awakens some of his militant spirit in each one of us.
26 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN.
Nearest Tube: Waterloo
Opening Hours: From 8th February, daily 10am-6pm
Exclusive insights into Madiba’s life are displayed through a sequence of experiential events that will give visitors better understanding of the beloved political figure. Seven galleries are set up within Leake Street’s graffiti tunnels, with sections focusing on different parts of his life. From the early years, invoked through staples of the Transkei landscape, all the way to an immersive rendition of the 10,000 days at the Robben Island prison, the exhibition looks at the long walk to freedom – for both Mandela and South Africa. Exclusive, never before seen footage, as well as personal items have all been collected in order to keep the experience as authentic as possible.
With sections like Anti-Apartheid in Britain – attention to detail is prioritised in order to give the viewer an understanding of what truly made Mandela into the icon we know and love today. It all culminates in a final part that focuses on remembering Mandela the man: personal accounts of people whose lives have been directly impacted and changed for the better by his activism unite to create an emotionally resonant experience, one to take with you well beyond the exhibition walls.
Mandela’s story remains one to be inspired by and revisited any time our hope in the world fades. The global impact of this exhibition ultimately leaves the audience pondering the gravity of all this, especially in our troubling political situation. Visiting the Leake Street tunnel exhibition even consists in your good deed for the day: a portion of the exhibition proceeds will be given to the Mvezo Development Trust to support economic development programs in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Excuse us while we book our tickets.
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