20 Years of Democracy in South Africa

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
28 Aug 2014 - 31 Aug 2014

20 Years of Democracy in South Africa

Nelson Mandela: The Myth & Me, film still | © Guilio Biccari

In 2014 the Republic of South Africa will mark the twentieth anniversary of the introduction of democracy. Following the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990, the legalization of the African National Congress, and the adoption of a new constitution, the country’s first free parliamentary elections were held in April 1994. This interdisciplinary event will provide a context in which to reflect on the South African democratization process along with its accompanying political and societal upheaval and challenges, and will celebrate the spirit of this nation’s democratic awakening.

The theme weekend is designed as a critical stock-taking: An opening discussion and a workshop with African and German participants will grapple with such questions as the shaping of the transitional phase of the 1980s and 1990s, the role of the constitution, experiences in building democratic institutions and struggling against racism, the role of the protest movements, demands for a second transition, and the significance of poverty and educational disparity as challenges to democracy. A film program with commentary will take up these questions, while an open-air concert program featuring stars and rising young talent will offer a taste of the vitality of the South African cultural scene.

The Haus der Kulturen der Welt has a long history of critical engagement with South Africa. In 1996 HKW not only held the first international exhibition of contemporary art from the “Rainbow Nation,” but also invited Nelson Mandela to Berlin for an encounter with the public that will long be remembered.

The theme weekend on the first twenty years of democracy in South Africa is a further step in HKW’s programmatic examination of democratic transformation processes in Africa and the Arab world, building on the festivals “Meeting Points” and “Chronicle of a Revolt” from 2012 and “A Journey of Ideas Across. In Dialog with Edward Said” from 2013.

The festival will be opened by jazz musician Hugh Masekela on August 28.



Thursday 28.08.2014 

18:00 Opening with Njabulo Ndebele


28.08. – 31.08.2014

Exile Faces
Video installation


Thursday 28.08.2014 

20:00  Hugh Masekela

22:30  Otelo Burning
D: Sara Blecher


Friday 29.08.2014

10:00  South Africa: Prospects for Democracy after Apartheid

18:00 Belonging to the Voices who live in it
Poetry reading by Antjie Krog

19:00 Miners Shot Down
D: Rehad Desai

21:00  Behind the Rainbow
D: Jihan El-Tahri


Saturday 30.08.2014

18:00  Layla Fourie
D: Pia Marais

20:00  Nelson Mandela: The Myth & Me
D: Khalo Matabane

22:00  Nozinja (Shangaan Electro)


Sunday 31.08.2014

17:00  Long Night’s Journey into Day
D: Deborah Hoffmann and Frances Reid,

19:00  Africa Shafted: Under One Roof
D: Ingrid Martens,

20:15  Skoonheid (Beauty)
D: Oliver Hermanus


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