Time to act – Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the United Democratic Front

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the United Democratic Front

Time to act – Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the United Democratic Front
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the United Democratic Front

Johannesburg, 13 September 2023: The Apartheid Museum will launch TIME TO ACT, the UDF40 exhibition on Heritage Day – Sunday, 24 September. The launch will take place at 11h00 and will be addressed by keynote speakers Thuli Madonsela and Trevor Manuel.

This will be an Open Day and the public is invited to attend the launch, see the exhibition and enjoy the food stalls and music that will be on offer from 11h00 to 17h00. Entrance to the Museum will be free of charge all day and formal proceedings will take place from 11h30 to 12h30.

The exhibition, entitled TIME TO ACT, reflects on the work and impact of the United Democratic Front (UDF) through political posters, stickers, T-shirts and banners from the period, as well as two specially commissioned films.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a film exploring the history of the UDF. It presents extraordinary footage, including the young Leila Issel addressing the gathering at the historic launch of the UDF in 1983 on behalf of her banned father, Johnny Issel.

In a time that predated cell phones and even PCs, many UDF affiliates used posters to communicate and campaign.

The posters were usually hand-made and printed on silkscreens by community organisations. They were a feature of township and university life throughout the 1980s.

The exhibition presents a selection of 150 posters under a variety of themes which showcase the varied membership of the UDF and the ability of grassroots organisations to influence history despite having very limited resources. The active, creative, community-driven political culture is in stark contrast with current political life.

Madonsela, Manuel and others will reflect on the contribution of the UDF to the defeat of apartheid, and on the lessons of the UDF for the challenges our society faces today.

“The UDF was a spectacular success, re-energising the struggle and mobilising millions of people. Like hundreds of fish swimming in a single formation, ordinary people had found a way to work together to take on the might of the apartheid government.” – TIME TO ACT introductory text.

The UDF slogan – UDF Unites, Apartheid Divides! – became famous throughout the country.

TIME TO ACT opens on 24 September and will be on display at the Apartheid Museum until April 2024.

This exhibition is a collaboration between the UDF40 National Committee, the Apartheid Museum and the South African History Archive (SAHA).

  • Ends –

The Apartheid Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, and public holidays 9h00 to 17h00

For further details visit:  www.apartheidmuseum.org

Facebook: @ApartheidMuseumSA       Instagram: S.A. Apartheid Museum

Press Contact:

Mantis Communications

Kerry Simpson

Tel: 079 438 3252

Email: [email protected]