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Toronto Centre for the Arts
Oct 10, 2019 - Jan 07, 2020


What would you do if you were imprisoned for 27 years? Would you be able to forgive your captors, or would you want revenge? Nelson Mandela chose forgiveness – and he never stopped trying to build a better world.

Mandela is an exhibition that looks at Nelson Mandela and the movement that formed around him. Follow Mandela into hiding after he is declared an outlaw, and then join him inside a replica of the prison cell that was his home for 18 years. Experience the bittersweet joy of his release, after 27 long years of imprisonment. Finally, witness South Africa’s first democratic elections, and find out about Mandela’s efforts to rebuild a nation shattered by racism and injustice.
Explore what was happening on the streets during Mandela’s lifetime. Bear witness to South African children defending themselves from tanks with garbage can lids, and learn about the secret plan to break Mandela out of prison. Support for Mandela and his cause also came from outside South Africa. Hear from Canadians who joined the struggle for freedom and equality and see for yourself the importance of mobilizing and speaking out.
What was Mandela's struggle about?
Mandela fought against apartheid, a system of white supremacy in South Africa. Under apartheid, everyone was put into one of four racial categories: “white/European,” “black,” “coloured,” or “Indian/Asian.” Non-white South Africans were second-class citizens with little or no political power. Restrictive laws governed every aspect of people’s lives, dictating where they could live, work and travel and restricting their access to education, health care and other social services.
Mandela rose up against apartheid and called upon all South Africans to join him. Although he was arrested and imprisoned for 27 years for fighting for freedom, Mandela refused to give up the struggle or give in to hate. Mandela was fighting against apartheid, but he was also fighting for something: a better world, in which the freedom, justice and dignity of all were respected. Even before his release in 1990, Mandela began negotiating with the government to end apartheid. Through those negotiations, he helped prevent a bloody civil war. Mandela went on to become the country’s first democratically elected president.
One man, many voices
Mandela's courage is inspiring and his story is dramatic, but he did not end apartheid alone. In South Africa and around the world, people were inspired by Mandela's example. They recognized that there would never be freedom in South Africa unless many people took action. In South Africa, many died in the struggle for freedom. Here in Canada, numerous individuals mobilized against apartheid, calling for boycotts against South Africa’s apartheid regime.
Mandela is an exhibition is about one man, but it is also about the many who came together to oppose racism and injustice. The themes include an exploration of Apartheid, defiance, repression, mobilization and freedom.
Continue the exploration with two additional features from TO Live:
George Weston Recital Hall, Meridian Arts Centre
November 5 & 6, 2019
“Spine-tingling” – The Guardian
London’s The Kingdom Choir are best known for their show-stopping performance at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The groups performance of Stand By Me, seen by a global audience of over two billion, instantly catapulted the choir to worldwide fame.
Bluma Appel Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts
November 13-18, 2019
“Packs a punch… tugging on the heartstrings” – London Standard
“Everyone should see—and hear—the Isango Ensemble at least once in their lives.”  – The Guardian
Award-winning South African theatre company Isango Ensemble brings this feast of music and dance. There always runs a thread of fervent political comment—and A Man of Good Hope is no different.

Please note as of September 15, 2019, the Toronto Centre for the Arts will become MERIDIAN ARTS CENTRE


Price: $10

Getting Here
Performance Times
Thu Oct 10, 10:00 AM
Fri Oct 11, 10:00 AM
Sat Oct 12, 10:00 AM
Sun Oct 13, 10:00 AM
Tue Oct 15, 1:00 PM
Wed Oct 16, 1:00 PM
Thu Oct 17, 10:00 AM
Fri Oct 18, 10:00 AM
Sat Oct 19, 10:00 AM
Sun Oct 20, 10:00 AM
Tue Oct 22, 1:00 PM
Wed Oct 23, 1:00 PM
Thu Oct 24, 10:00 AM
Fri Oct 25, 10:00 AM
Sat Oct 26, 10:00 AM
Sun Oct 27, 10:00 AM
Tue Oct 29, 1:00 PM
Wed Oct 30, 1:00 PM
Thu Oct 31, 10:00 AM
Fri Nov 1, 10:00 AM
Sat Nov 2, 10:00 AM
Sun Nov 3, 10:00 AM
Tue Nov 5, 1:00 PM
Wed Nov 6, 1:00 PM
Thu Nov 7, 10:00 AM
Fri Nov 8, 10:00 AM
Sat Nov 9, 10:00 AM
Sun Nov 10, 10:00 AM
Tue Nov 12, 1:00 PM
Wed Nov 13, 1:00 PM
Thu Nov 14, 10:00 AM
Fri Nov 15, 10:00 AM
Sat Nov 16, 10:00 AM
Sun Nov 17, 10:00 AM
Tue Nov 19, 1:00 PM
Wed Nov 20, 1:00 PM
Thu Nov 21, 10:00 AM
Fri Nov 22, 10:00 AM
Sat Nov 23, 10:00 AM
Sun Nov 24, 10:00 AM
Tue Nov 26, 1:00 PM
Wed Nov 27, 1:00 PM
Thu Nov 28, 10:00 AM
Fri Nov 29, 10:00 AM
Sat Nov 30, 10:00 AM
Sun Dec 1, 10:00 AM
Tue Dec 3, 1:00 PM
Wed Dec 4, 1:00 PM
Thu Dec 5, 10:00 AM
Fri Dec 6, 10:00 AM
Sat Dec 7, 10:00 AM
Sun Dec 8, 10:00 AM
Tue Dec 10, 1:00 PM
Wed Dec 11, 1:00 PM
Thu Dec 12, 10:00 AM
Fri Dec 13, 10:00 AM
Sat Dec 14, 10:00 AM
Sun Dec 15, 10:00 AM
Tue Dec 17, 1:00 PM
Wed Dec 18, 1:00 PM
Thu Dec 19, 10:00 AM
Fri Dec 20, 10:00 AM
Sat Dec 21, 10:00 AM
Sun Dec 22, 10:00 AM
Thu Dec 26, 10:00 AM
Fri Dec 27, 10:00 AM
Sat Dec 28, 10:00 AM
Sun Dec 29, 10:00 AM
Tue Dec 31, 1:00 PM
Thu Jan 2, 10:00 AM
Fri Jan 3, 10:00 AM
Sat Jan 4, 10:00 AM
Sun Jan 5, 10:00 AM
Tue Jan 7, 1:00 PM
Pre-show Talks
Related Links
Mandela: Struggle for Freedom 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.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights Apartheid Museum
The original presentation of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was generously supported by The Asper Foundation, TD Bank Group, Travel Manitoba, and Air Canada.
These events have been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.
OCAF - Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund