Freedom Struggles in Southern Africa
When Nelson Mandela was released from jail in 1990, he repeated the words he had spoken at his trial 26 years earlier: “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the violent suppression of resistance to colonial and white settler regimes in Southern Africa provoked international condemnation. The resilience of these resistance movements inspired human and civil rights activists across the world. What led people to risk their lives in the fight for freedom? What was it like to live through these years of struggle? Was Mandela’s dream of harmony and equality realized when he became South Africa’s president in 1994? In this seminar you will become acquainted with the scholarly debates on these questions and develop your own perspectives on them by examining a range of primary source materials, including political pamphlets, underground newspapers, films, short stories and oral testimonies.