Mandela and Midlothian

Nelson Mandela in Glasgow in 1993
Nelson Mandela in Glasgow in 1993

The Anti-Apartheid Archives Committee exhibition – “Forward to Freedom: Anti-Apartheid Movement History” – will be open to the public at Dalkeith Library from Tuesday, February 9.

Scotland played a key role in the struggle against apartheid, with local activists making a significant contribution at the time. In February 1985, Midlothian campaigned for the release of Nelson Mandela and he was made a Freeman while still in prison.

The exhibition consists of 26 boards, four of which are specific to events in Scotland, especially those relating to the campaign for the release of the former president of South Africa and other political prisoners, in which Scotland played such a significant role.

A spokesman for Midlothian Libraries said: “It is very special for us to be hosting this exhibition, especially because of the special role that our authority played in the international solidarity struggle against apartheid.

“We hope these attention-grabbing boards will inspire a new generation to learn about the anti-apartheid movement and its incredible struggle which was symbolised by the release of Nelson Mandela.”