New Mandela project launched

2013-03-14 17:49
Nelson Mandela (Picture: AP)

Nelson Mandela (Picture: AP)

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Johannesburg - A new interactive project detailing former president Nelson Mandela's imprisonment on Robben Island and its effects on the world was unveiled on Thursday.

"The Mandela 27 project announced today will highlight social and cultural events that influenced societal change in South Africa and Europe during the 27 years of uTata Mandela's imprisonment... and across the world," the project said in a statement.

The initiative would take a global perspective of seemingly disconnected events such as the Rock against Racism campaign in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the release of political prisoners in South Africa.

"Although the events in question took place on different continents, thousands of kilometres apart, they did not take place in a vacuum. Mandela 27 brings these seemingly disparate strands together."

The project is partly funded by the EU Culture Programme, and is the product of a collaboration between the Robben Island Museum, Coventry University in the United Kingdom, the North West University, and creative content developers.

Part of the project includes a website with an interactive digital map that will track events across South Africa and Europe.

"Users would be exposed to information about European and South African cultural events, campaigns, music genres, art, theatre, poetry, the songs of South Africa's liberation and freedom, and even being taught to toyi-toyi."

A three-dimensional visualisation of Mandela's Robben Island cell and other locations in the prison would help tell the story of his incarceration.

"A serious game [a game that is not purely for entertainment, usually with a purpose like education] about life on Robben Island is being developed by South African students and staff with assistance from The Serious Games Institute at Coventry University."

Prison cells modelled on Mandela's were being manufactured to house multimedia exhibitions.

"The cells will be displayed across European and South African venues, including Robben Island Museum, other heritage institutions and schools."

The project website would be ready in April, and the game and other digital components by February 2014.

The cell-based exhibitions would be displayed in South Africa and Europe from May 2014.

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