arts, culture, What's On

Mandela My Life: The Official Exhibition

The highly anticipated world premiere of Mandela My Life: The Official Exhibition opens at the prestigious Melbourne Museum on Saturday 22nd September 2018. Produced by iEC Exhibitions, TEG Live and Museums Victoria, in full collaboration with The Nelson Mandela Foundation of South Africa as their only official global exhibition, this brand-new, world-class exhibition will exclusively open in Australia before commencing on a 5-year worldwide museum tour from 2019.

The producers are delighted to announce the first of many original objects to be featured in Mandela My Life: The Official Exhibition to coincide the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth today. This exhibition will be a world first, with a rich collection of artifacts, documents and personal items expertly curated to share the story of Mandela’s rich and colourful life.

Some of the confirmed original objects that will feature in Mandela My Life: The Official Exhibition include the boxing glove signed and gifted by Muhammad Ali to Mandela, who was an avid boxing fan and met Ali several times after 1990. The shoes and walking cane used by Mandela in his senior years will be among the key objects to feature in the exhibition as well as some of his favourite ‘Madiba shirts’ that brightened the corridors of power.

The Pass Laws Act of 1952 required all black South Africans over the age of 16 to carry a passbook and was brutally enforced as part of the apartheid regime until it’s abolition in 1986. In 1960, Nelson Mandela burnt his passbook following the massacre of anti-passbook protesters at Sharpeville. An original and rare passbook that belonged to a young man and was signed by Nelson Mandela will be on display at the exhibition. This is an extremely rare object as few people cared to hold on to their passbooks once the pass laws had been abolished.

The exhibition will also feature a deep and rich archive of images, film and sound recordings including film footage of what is believed to be the earliest film of Nelson Mandela being interviewed during a break in the ‘Treason Trial’ of 1956-1961. Mandela was one of 156 defendants, along with members of all other anti-apartheid movements, in a trial that was designed to dismantle the People’s Congress Alliance and attack the Freedom Charter.

Providing a rare and touching glimpse into the personal life of Nelson Mandela, this official Mandela exhibition has been curated into ten galleries in the Touring Hall at Melbourne Museum and explores his difficult and sometimes controversial life fighting for equality and democracy.

Expertly curated by a team of Museums Victoria staff and headed by iEC Exhibitions’ Samantha Heywood, the exhibition will feature personal artefacts and documents, many of which have never-before left South Africa, offering an insight into the world that shaped Mandela’s journey from the rural Transkei to the political world stage.

The 800m2 exhibition will include outstanding artworks, original artefacts and genuine replications of rare content from the Nelson Mandela archives, including manuscripts from his writings in prison, taking visitors through a multi-sensory, interactive, educational and emotive journey of Mandela’s 95 years of life.

When: 22 September 2018 ~ 3 March 2019
Where: Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street
More info: here.