GANDHI, LUTHULI, KING, MANDELA
This exhibition is presented by the Documentation Center of the University of Durban-Westville, in association with the American Consulate, the Indian Consulate and the Local History Museum. It focuses on aspects of the lives, works and teachings of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Albert John Luthuli, Martin Luther King and Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Gandhi sowed and nurtured the seeds of non-violent direct action against social injustices during his twenty one year sojourn in South Africa. His experiments with Truth matured during his freedom struggles in India, which finally culminated in India's independence from Britain.
Dr. Luthuli's deep Christian commitment together with the Gandhian philosophy of Satyagraha helped define the non-violent policy adopted by the African National Congress in its defiance campaign against racial oppression in South Africa. In 1961, Dr. Luthuli was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. King Jr. successfully employed non-violence as a strategy in his civil rights campaigns against racial discrimination in the United States of America. Dr. King's non-violent and peaceful demonstrations played a significant role in paving the way for US enactment of legislation prohibiting racial discrimination in the USA. In 1964, he became the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate.
Mandela's long walk to freedom embraced the legacy of non-violence. Compatriots from both, the Indian Congress and the African National Congress campaigned together for a free South Africa before their leadership was convicted and imprisoned on Robben Island. Nelson Mandela walked free from prison on 11 February 1990, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected the first President of a free and democratic South Africa in 1994.
While the exhibition celebrates the lives and contribution of these individuals, it also seeks to draw attention to their lessons. Wars, conflict and violence continue to sow death and destruction throughout the globe. The ideas and teachings of these men are therefore a legacy that will hold out hope for world peace, freedom and justice in the 21 st Century.
The Documentation Center is a unique archive and museum concerned with documenting the "new" history of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The Center supports the research and academic needs of the university students and faculty and serves as a focus for public programs of interest to the campus and wider Kwa-Zulu community. The Center's ambitious exhibition programme is designed to acquaint students, faculty and members of the public with collections and to encourage their use for research. The Documentation Center encourages partnerships with community, cultural and educational groups and institutions.
Durban's Local History Museums are five sites around the city: the Old Court House houses collections ranging from Mahatma Gandhi memorabilia to Anglo-Zulu War relics, with an unmatched photographic archive and dioramas of regional costume and 19th century life. At the Port Natal Maritime Museum are three ships as walk-through exhibitions, while the newest satellite, King's Battery Museum depicts aspects of Durban's participation in the two world wars. The "Old House" is a reconstruction of the earliest settler cottage built on Durban Bay. Kwa Muhle Museum which was the nerve-centre of the city's harsh apartheid labour laws, is now dedicated to remembering the injustices of the recent past.
The United States Information Agency is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch of the U.S. government USIA explains and supports American foreign policy and promotes U.S. national interests through a wide range of overseas information programs. The agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other nations by conducting educational and cultural activities. USIA maintains more than 200 posts in 143 countries where it is known as USIS, the U.S. Information Service.
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, which was set up to promote cultural exchanges between India and other countries, maintains 15 Cultural Centres worldwide one of which is located in the Consulate General of India in Durban. The Indian Cultural Centre in Durban has a reading room and a library well stocked with books, CDs video cassettes, magazines and newspapers from India. The Centre administers the ICCR scholarship schemes and from time to time, organises various educational and cultural activities including exhibitions, lectures . dance and music performances etc.