End conscription: 25-year anniversary talk, exhibition

2009-09-28 00:00

THE End Conscription Campaign (ECC) is celebrating 25 years since it was founded by hosting a series of events in Durban and Pietermaritzburg during late September and October.

A national NGO with a strong international support network, the ECC tirelessly campaigned for an end to conscription into the apartheid army and represented conscientious objectors in their battles with the SADF.

An exhibition of the organisation’s history and some of the personalities involved, which will be held in Durban and titled Out of Step, opens tomorrow and focuses on the ECC’s creative approaches to its campaigns through posters, photographs, literature and T-shirts.

Dr Richard Steele, a conscientious objector and an ECC activist, said: “The vision for the exhibition is both to remind us of the war resistance movement in SA; the role it played in the country’s transformation, as well as to educate the new generation of South Africans who were too young to remember the ECC and what it stood for.”

There will also be a display of the work of various non governmental organisations (NGOs) including the End Conscription Campaign, which are 20, 25 and 30 years old this year, at the Natal Museum in Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street, Pietermaritzburg from Saturday, October 3 onwards. Other events include:

• A seminar hosted by the UKZN Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity, which will examine the conscientious objector support groups and the ECC as social movements and their role in the transformation of white identity, at UKZN Durban on October 13 at 3 pm;

• A public meeting at the Denis Hurley Hall, in Durban’s Diakonia Centre, on October 17 at 3 pm, featuring keynote speaker Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and a panel of ECC and community activists, who will reflect on the significance of ECC and the relevance of its values for South Africa today.

Contact Dr Richard Steele at 031 201 6508 or via e-mail rsteele@vodamail.co.za for more information about the events planned to celebrate the ECC.

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