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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

A Huge World-First Nelson Mandela Exhibition Is Now Open In Melbourne

More than 200 pieces are on display in Melbourne, as part of the brand new exhibition's 20-city world tour.
By Sarah Ward and Libby Curran
September 22, 2018
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A Huge World-First Nelson Mandela Exhibition Is Now Open In Melbourne

More than 200 pieces are on display in Melbourne, as part of the brand new exhibition's 20-city world tour.
By Sarah Ward and Libby Curran
September 22, 2018
  shares

A world-first exhibition dedicated to the late Nelson Mandela has opened in Australia, in what would've been the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's 100th year.

Travelling exhibition MANDELA My Life runs from September 22, 2018 to March 3, 2019, with Melbourne Museum hosting the most comprehensive collection of the human rights icon's memorabilia ever to be shown outside South Africa. Alongside a huge assortment of artefacts, including the warrants of committal for Mandela's 27-year stint in prison, the exhibition explores his life through a series of film and audio archives.

In total, more than 200 pieces from The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Nelson Mandela's private collection are on display, taking up ten galleries. Highlights include an immersive film piece that places attendees in the courtroom as he delivers his 1964 Rivonia Trial speech against apartheid, a seven-metre-long projection wall that charts his journey through childhood, and a gallery filled with small cell-like rooms based on his time in prison. Visitors can also relive the events of Mandela's first day of freedom in 1990, view a selection of the colourful patterned 'Madiba shirts' he was known for wearing, and see the signed boxing glove gifted to Mandela by Muhammad Ali.

In addition, MANDELA My Life includes 16 original artworks by South African artist John Meyer, each of which depicts an event from or theme of Mandela's life. An exhibition within the exhibition, it features renderings of Mandela's childhood in Qunu, his years as a dedicated lawyer in 1950s  Johannesburg, his time in jail and and his post-release achievements.

Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said that Melbourne's hosting of the centenary exhibition was a huge win for the city. "Nelson Mandela fought every day for freedom, love and human rights — changing the world and making it a better place," Eren said. "We're proud this exhibition is making its world debut in Victoria, continuing Mandela's incredible legacy and reminding us all that it's in our hands to make a difference."

MANDELA My Life is supported by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which is the custodian of most of the revolutionary's personal photographs, documents and memorabilia. After premiering in Melbourne, the exhibition will embark on a world tour of up to 20 cities, expected to be seen by as many as 2.7 million visitors globally.

MANDELA My Life is on display from September 22, 2018 to March 3, 2019 at Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton. For tickets and more information, visit the exhibition's website

Images: 'Father of the Innocents' from the series 'Mandela, A Life's Journey' by John Meyer / Keith Bernstein / Jon Augier, Museums Victoria/

Published on September 22, 2018 by Sarah Ward

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