by Simon Capstick-Dale

Mandela 27 Project

Bringing the past to life

Mandela 27 Project
Mandela 27 Project

Important events for Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners will be brought to life with a digital take as part of a new international campaign. The Robben Island Museum announced that the Mandela 27 Project would aim to highlight social events that influenced change in South Africa and Europe during Mandela’s 27-year prison term on the island.

The project is a partnership between the museum, the United Kingdom’s Coventry University, the European Union’s Cultural Programme, Belgium’s The Creative Stories project, and content developer Elderberry.

With an estimated cost of around R5 million, funding for the project would come from the European Union.

Most of the stories will be told through multimedia, an interactive website with a map interlinking events of activism in South Africa and Europe. There will also be a three dimensional ‘serious game’ in which users could learn about the island and anti-apartheid activists.

Letters, poems and stories of ex-political prisoners written between 1960 and 1990 will be exhibited at the Robben Island Museum Gateway at the V&A Waterfront and on the island.

There will also be a travelling three-dimensional cell, which is under construction.

Once the project has been launched next month, those who visit the website will also get a lesson in toyi-toying.

Robben Island chief executive Sibongiseni Mkhize said the project is about sharing untold stories of all those incarcerated at the island for political activism (not just Nelson Mandela) and is a way of creating intercultural dialogue internationally, and sharing knowledge.

The game and other digital components will be ready by February, while the cell will start travelling by May 2014.

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