A flat of hope and dreams for activists

2009-08-17 00:00

ZARINA Maharaj’s political documentary Flat 13, which was screened as part of the 2009 Durban International Film Festival, can be seen on e.tv on Sunday, August 23 at 3 pm.

Flat 13 tells the story of an apartment that became a sanctuary during apartheid where the dream of a free and democratic country was first realised.

Former president Nelson Mandela has described the flat as the place “where the first seeds of non-racialism were sown and a wider concept of the nation came into being”.

The flat got its reputation as a non-racial social and political centre in the mid-forties when Mandela and fellow first year law student, Ismail Meer, hung out there with other young activists, journalists, musicians and intellectuals from across the colour and religious spectrum.

Flat 13’s reputation for defiance continued when Ahmed Kathrada, who celebrates his 80th birthday on August 21, later took over the venue until he too was imprisoned on Robben Island with Mandela in the early 1960s.

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