On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
TERBLANCHE, H.O.. Historia [online]. 2012, vol.57, n.2, pp. 150-181. ISSN 2309-8392.
There is a close link between Amsterdam as an anti-apartheid city and Ed van Thijn, who was its mayor from 1983 to 1994. Amsterdam was declared an anti-apartheid city in 1986 - the first city of this nature in the Netherlands. Large anti-apartheid demonstrations were held over the years in Amsterdam. In 1988, for example, there was a mass demonstration of 50 000 people of Amsterdam. Reverend C.F. Beyers Naudé and Govan Mbeki received honorary doctorates from Amsterdam universities as a gesture of solidarity. Important conferences for South African artists in exile were held in Amsterdam, for example "The cultural voice of the struggle" (1982) and "Culture in Another South Africa" (1987). These conferences were organised in solidarity with the ANC. The ANC also opened an office in Amsterdam in 1989. Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990 was greeted with much jubilation in Amsterdam. Mandela was received as a hero in the city in both 1990 and 1999. There was a close link between Mandela and Amsterdam as an anti-apartheid city, as Mandela was the personification of the struggle against apartheid.
Keywords : African National Congress (ANC); Amsterdam; antiapartheid; anti-racism; artists in exile; cultural boycott; cultural conferences; Ed van Thijn; mass demonstrations; Nelson Mandela; protest theatre.