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South Africa: Nelson Mandela Exhibition Dublin

This year marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth as well as twenty five years of diplomatic relations between Ireland and South Africa. To commemorate both occasions, the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, in collaboration with Kilmainham Gaol Museum, the Office of Public Works, and the South African Apartheid Museum, presents From Prisoner to President: Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition -Ireland, an Exhibition celebrating the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela -Leader, Comrade, Negotiator, Prisoner, Statesman.  The temporary Exhibition will be launched by President Higgins on Thursday 12 July in Kilmainham Goal. It will run until 12 January 2019 and will be accessible to the public free of charge.

In 2008, as part of the celebration of the Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, the exhibition Mandela –Leader, Comrade, Negotiator, Prisoner, Statesman opened at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. It aimed to bring Mandela's remarkable story to a museum audience and to convey the epic quality of his life.

The exhibition was produced by the Apartheid Museum in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Museum and the South African Department of Education. Variations of the exhibition have been shown around the world including in Argentina, Ecuador, France, Luxembourg, Peru and the USA.

It explores Mandela's extraordinary life through five themes – Leader, Comrade, Negotiator, Prisoner, Statesman. In each theme, the narrative is presented through evocative large scale images and text, supported by films, photographs and displays of original artefacts.

Mandela was central to every stage of South Africa's protracted struggle against apartheid. The exhibition traces how Mandela built a new nation from the fragments of conflict, making full use of the tools at his disposal: persuasion, forgiveness and acute political acumen – with a fair amount of self-deprecating humour sprinkled in for good measure.

The exhibition reflects on the vital beacon that Mandela's legacy provides in an increasingly fractured world.

Given that Kilmainham Gaol once held some of Ireland's best known freedom fighters, having Nelson Mandela, who spent a large part of his life behind similar bars, exhibited here holds a special resonance.

This Irish version of the exhibition also highlights the strength and breadth of Ireland's relationship with South Africa, from Ireland's support for the anti-apartheid movement, through to the vibrant and multifaceted partnership which exists between Ireland & South Africa today.  Below are a sample of some of the key images in the exhibition.

The project aims to highlight and strengthen the relationship between Ireland and South Africa as we commemorate 25 years of diplomatic relations in 2018 and the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth this year.

Ireland is also currently working closely with South Africa at the United Nations in New York as co-chair and convener of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit in New York on 24 September 2018. The Exhibition provides an opportunity to highlight the ideals of Mandela in Ireland and the synergies between them and Ireland's values.

The Exhibition will be launched President Michael D Higgins and Trevor Manuel, one of President Ramaphosa's Economic Envoys and a former confidant of Nelson Mandela and Kader Asmal, on Thursday 12 July at 6pm in the East Wing of Kilmainham Goal at an invite only event.

After the launch event the Exhibition will be open to the public for 6 months free of charge, with tickets available from Kilmainham Goal.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of Ireland, South Africa.