Author Archives: Gavin Brown

About Gavin Brown

Lecturer in Human Geography University of Leicester

Working with anti-apartheid memories

By researching the historical geographies of the Non-Stop Picket, we are constantly confronting the multiple ways in which memory operates. The very act of remembering the Non-Stop Picket is an intervention into the ways in which the struggle against apartheid is … Continue reading

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PW Botha, police spies, and the South African Embassy Picket Campaign 1984

In June 1984, President PW Botha of South Africa was expected in Britain for talks with Margaret Thatcher. His tour of Europe that summer was intended to promote ‘constructive engagement’ with the apartheid regime (rather than sanctions) and stave of … Continue reading

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Objecting to apartheid: disobedient objects at the V&A

Gavin has written a guest post for the Disobedient Objects blog hosted by the V&A Museum. Disobedient Objects is an exhibition “about the art and design produced by grassroots social movements” which will open at the V&A at the end of July, running until … Continue reading

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Marking South Africa House with ‘blood’ on election day 1987

As South Africa celebrates twenty years since the end of apartheid, and prepares for tomorrow’s election, I want to remember a protest that responded to a very different South African election. On 6 May 1987, there was a white-only general … Continue reading

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“I’m only doing my job”: a grandmother’s protest

South African Freedom Day has long been celebrated on 26 June. The day commemorates the general strike and national day of protest that the African National Congress called on 26 June 1950. It also remembers the signing of the Freedom … Continue reading

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A parcel from Cape Town (and a letter from Robben Island)

A thick envelope covered in South African stamps arrived in my office just before Easter. It contained copies of correspondence relating to the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group from the Mayibuye Archive at the University of Western Cape. We have to … Continue reading

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Camps and long-term protests against apartheid

I have just published a guest post about long-term anti-apartheid protests outside South African embassies around the world over at the Protest Camps blog. This thinks about the Non-Stop Picket in the context of the year-long daily protests at the South … Continue reading

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On (not) being a heckler inside South Africa House

On Thursday 20 March, the AAM Archives Committee hosted a launch event for their website, Forward to Freedom, at South Africa House in London. We were not initially invited; but, Gavin secured an invitation for himself and these are his reflections on … Continue reading

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Surveying the Anti-Apartheid Movement digital archives

This week the digital archives of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement have gone live online.  The website, Forward to Freedom, charts the history of the AAM from 1959 until 1994. It provides a rich resource of photos, interviews, video clips and scanned documents … Continue reading

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Stories from the green crates: exploring Steve Kitson’s papers

There are two green, plastic crates full of papers sat on the end of my desk. They smell a little damp. My office smells a little damp. The papers are squeezed so tightly into the boxes that I fear for … Continue reading

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