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Photo Exhibition of Nelson Mandela opens in Moscow

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

On July 18, 2023, the solemn opening of the photo exhibition Nelson Mandela. Life in Photographs was held in Moscow.

The exposition depicts various stages of the life of the outstanding African politician. It includes photographs as a child, pictures taken during his imprisonment, his photographs as President of South Africa, and many other captured episodes of his life.

The exhibition is dedicated to the 105th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela and the promotion of the international initiative to erect a monument to the great African politician in Moscow.

This event was organized on the initiative of the Russian-African Club of Lomonosov Moscow State University in cooperation with the Moscow House of Nationalities, the Commission on Public Security and People’s Diplomacy of the Council for Nationalities under the Government of Moscow, the Public Diplomacy Foundation and the Cameroonian Diaspora of Russia ANO Diaspocam. The project was supported by the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum.

Representatives of African diplomatic missions and African diasporas, as well as foreign students of Russian universities came to get acquainted with rare photographs of the legendary Madib (this is the name Nelson Mandela is known in his homeland).

Alexander Fedorovich Berdnikov, Executive Secretary of the Russian-African Club, acted as the leading moderator at the opening of the photo exhibition.

Welcoming addresses to the exhibition guests were made by Ilya Vyacheslavovich Ilyin, First Vice-President of the Russian-African Club, Dean of the Faculty of Global Studies at Lomonosov MSU; Inna Vitalievna Andronova, Dean of the Faculty of Economics of the Peoples’ Friendship University, and Darya Vladimirovna Vanyukova, Researcher at the State Museum of Oriental Art.

All of them unanimously noted the outstanding role of Nelson Mandela in the struggle against the apartheid regime and the independence of African peoples from the colonial oppression of European countries.

The role of Moscow University in supporting Nelson Mandela, who was in prison at the time, was also highlighted by the speakers. This is evidenced by an archival photograph of the solemn meeting of the Council of Moscow State University on entrusting Nelson Mandela with the honorary doctor diploma of Moscow State University in 1988.

The USSR provided its comprehensive support in fighting for the freedom of the peoples of Africa. Today Russia continues to help the peoples of the African continent to strengthen their independence.

Then, Louis Gouend, Director of the Department for Interaction with African Diasporas and the Media of the Russian-African Club, guided a tour of the photo exhibition. He spoke about the brightest episodes of Madib’s biography and his difficult fate.

The photo exhibition tour continued with a visit to other expositions dedicated to Africa. More than 70 works of art by masters from Ghana, Benin, Ethiopia, Uganda, Madagascar, Nigeria, Angola and a sculptor from Burkina Faso were presented to the attention of visitors.

African artists living and working in Russia occupy a special place in the exposition.
At the end of the event, the guests of the photo exhibition were in for a surprise.

African students of the Moscow Polytechnic University have prepared a creative program in honor of the 105th anniversary of Nelson Mandela. They sang the song Bella Ciao, read poems by Eduard Asadov and Anna Akhmatova.

The Russian-African Club is grateful to the leadership and staff of the Moscow House of Nationalities for the opportunity to carry out a very significant project for Russian-African relations. Proposals are already being received to extend the exposure of the photo exhibition in a number of Russian higher educational institutions.

It should be noted that the next step will be the erection of a monument to Nelson Mandela in Moscow.

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