Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Many IISH Posters in South Africa Exhibition Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum will be presenting a major exhibition spotlighting the relationship between South Africa and the Netherlands.

Opening on 17 February 2017, “Good Hope. South Africa and The Netherlands from 1600” will include items illustrating the exclusive relationship between the two countries, starting with the foundation of Cape Colony by Jan van Riebeeck and ending in the present: in South Africa, monuments to Paul Kruger and heroes from the Boer War are defaced; in the Netherlands, streets named after colonists and Boer army generals are being renamed after anti-apartheid activists.

Almost 40 posters are drawn from the collection of the International Institute of Social History

The historic ties with South Africa also led to a relatively strong anti-apartheid movement in the Netherlands.
For decades, there were underground contacts between Nelson Mandela and the Dutch solidarity movement.
Mandela paid his first official visit to the Netherlands on 16 June 1990, and tens of thousands came to cheer their hero as he waved from a balcony on Amsterdam’s Leidseplein.
(go to Mandela and the Netherlands for more information).

The IISH has collected extensively on the Dutch solidarity committees and documented that material exhaustively.
No wonder, then, that many of the items in the Rijksmuseum’s exhibition are from the IISH’s collections.
Those items comprise dozens of posters calling for a boycott and for support in the campaign against apartheid, some of them designed by artists such as Lucebert and Jan Wolkers.


8 February 2017