Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

On exhibit February 7 to August 3, 2020

The exhibition for everyone who refuses to see the world in black and white. Mandela: Struggle for Freedom is a rich sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media, and objects used to explore the earthshaking fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa – and its relevance to issues of today. Among its many dramatic visual features and original artifacts, the exhibition replicates Mandela’s eight-foot by seven-foot prison cell. When entered, the cell becomes a digital theatre whose walls tell a story of repression and resilience. 

Share your visit on social media with #MandelaExhibit.

Posters for Freedom

Many anti-apartheid posters were screen-printed, a printmaking technique characterized by a grassroots aesthetic. Created in South Africa and around the world, the messages of these posters still resonate today as people continue the struggle for freedom. Design your own poster!


Mandela Talks and Events

Mandela Talks Series - Apartheid in South Africa - A Lecture with Dr. Christopher Taylor

Sunday, March 8, 1 to 3 p.m.
Join Dr. Christopher Taylor at the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum as he discusses the topics of racism and apartheid in South Africa. Afterwards, explore the exhibit. 

March Break - Mandela: Struggle for Freedom

Sunday, March 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Join us during March Break for fun filled days. Explore our exhibits and enjoy daily activities and hands-on fun for all ages. March 22 - Mandela: Struggle for Freedom - Explore the exhibit Mandela: Struggle for Freedom. Mandela fought for a better South Africa. What do you think would help create a better Canada?

Lessons from Mandela: The History and Future of Struggles for Freedom

This event has been postponed.
Please join us for a roundtable conversation about Mandela and future struggles for freedom. This rountable is moderated by Dr. Aynur Kadir from the Communication Arts Department at the University of Waterloo. Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibit opens at 7 p.m. and the Roundtable begins at 7:30 p.m. This event is free to attend. 
Roundtable Panel: 
  • Greg Campbell, PhD Candidate, Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo
  • Dr. Frankie Condon, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo
  • Dr. Clive Forrester, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo
  • Dr. Kathy Hogarth, School of Social Work, Renison University College
  • Dr. Christopher Taylor, Department of History, University of Waterloo

A Conversation on Human Rights in South Africa, with Patrick Case

Saturday, April 18, 1 to 2 p.m.
The Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum is proud to welcome Patrick Case, LSM, LL.B., LL.M. for a talk. Mr. Case is the Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Equity Officer in the Supporting Student Potential Secretariat of the Ministry of Education. Mr. Case will explore human rights issues in Apartheid Africa and Mandela’s work to unite the country. He will speak to his first-hand experience in South Africa during their inaugural democratic election.   

School Programs

Teachers! Explore the Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibit with self-guided tours. 

Bring your students to our new time-limited school program:

Mandela: All Voices Heard

(offered February through June 2020 in conjunction with the Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibit)
Grade 3 to 8 – Social Studies and History 
Grades 9 to 12 – Canadian and World Studies, Social Sciences and Humanities
We are so fortunate to be living in a place and at a time where we often hear words like Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity; but do we understand the meaning and strength of these ideals? This one-of-a-kind program is an excellent opportunity for your class to connect to concepts necessary to make meaningful change. Teachers are encouraged to visit the exhibit free of charge and discuss how we can best match your classes’ visit with what is being explored back in the classroom. Self-guided visits are also optional for teachers who have a particular focus they wish to explore.
Program content relates primarily to history and social studies, and can be applied to other areas of study including language, as well school board initiatives such as Safe Caring Inclusive Schools.
1.5 to 2 hours, Maximum 60 students
For more information or to book a School Program contact: 

Michael Van Huisseling
Education Coordinator 
519-748-1914 ext. 3269


Exhibition Partners

The Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibition was developed by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Winnipeg, Canada), in partnership with the Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg, South Africa). Tour management services provided by Lord Cultural Resources

Contributing partners: The Government of CanadaThe ASPER FoundationTDTravel Manitoba

Media partners: Pattison OutdoorWaterloo Region Record