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About Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on memory, dialogue and legacy work, founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999. We are the custodian of his life and times; we are a committed facilitator of his legacy; and we are mandated to promote his lifelong vision of freedom and equality for all.

Part of the preservation and advancement of Madiba’s legacy and making this legacy available to the world is the provision and ongoing preservation of its extensive archive collection materials. The archival record relating to Nelson Mandela is infinite, fragmentary and scattered, both geographically and institutionally throughout the world, making it almost impossible to physically locate in one place. The imperative, therefore, is to document this vast resource, facilitate access to it, and promote its preservation and use.  

1. Razia Saleh
Head of Archive and Research, Nelson Mandela Foundation

Razia was the archivist at the African National Congress (ANC), overseeing the arrangement and description of ANC archives produced in exile. Razia has long worked in archives since she helped establish the South African History Archive (SAHA) to archive the material produced by anti-apartheid organisations active within South Africa in the 1980s. She has a Master’s degree in archival studies from the University of London and is a Board member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, established by the struggle stalwart.

2. Zandile Martha Nomathemba
Metadata and Photographic Archivist, Nelson Mandela Foundation

Zandile is a dedicated professional in the field of archives, information, and knowledge management, currently serving as the Metadata and Photographic Archivist at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. She has an honours degree in Information and knowledge management and is currently pursuing a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in Digital Curation at the University of Cape Town. Zandile’s passion is making Nelson Mandela’s archive more inclusive by ensuring that the archive is accessible, especially for disadvantaged groups who do not necessarily have the resources to come to the Nelson Mandela Foundation archives which house the life and times of global icon. She is also a Residential Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) 2023-2024 at Loughborough University London. The IAS Residential Fellowship programme is designed to bring exceptional international scholars and intellectuals to Loughborough for month-long research residencies.  

3. Ann-young Maharaj
Exhibition Coordinator, Nelson Mandela Foundation

Ann-young is the Exhibitions Coordinator looking after the permanent and temporary exhibitions at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. She has more than 18 years’ experience in the museum and heritage industry. She has an honours degree in Heritage and Cultural Sciences, Museum and Preservation studies.

Nelson Mandela Foundation website
Nelson Mandela Foundation Facebook profile
Nelson Mandela Foundation Instagram profile

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4. Robert Harland
Principle Investigator, Loughborough University 

I have used photography as a form of image-making throughout my career. As a design student, I learned about photography as an essential form of communication incorporated into editorial design. At the basic level, it involved taking photographs and combining them with typography in page layouts to convey messages.  This basic knowledge of photography provided the foundation for commissioning photographers for their distinctive approach and suitability for a particular project during my early professional career as a graphic designer in London. This would sometimes involve the studio photography of objects or a fashion shoot. Other times, it may have required the approach of photojournalism, often generating photographic content over a short period.  I returned to taking photographs myself as a research tool for design projects in places where I was designing pedestrian signage. The purpose was to capture the quality of a specific place, such as the textures, surfaces, materials, and objects that contribute to defining urban character. This led to the incorporation of photography as a method and framing device in my PhD study that explored the question: How do graphic objects facilitate the function of cities and urban places?   

Following this, I have used photography extensively to document the macro, meso, and micrographic scales at which cities function through their graphic objects. This examines the relationship between written discourse, pictorial images, other nonverbal communication, architecture and the built environment. I now use photography as an essential component in research collaborations defining the emerging urban graphic heritage field. I am a researcher and educator at Loughborough University’s School of Design and Creative Arts in the United Kingdom. I provide strategic leadership, creative oversight, operational guidance, and project management in close collaboration with the project co-investigators. I also chair the weekly meetings that monitor progress and lend design practice knowledge to the efforts of the exhibition booklet design team. He has provided photographic material for several key locations.   

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Graphic Heritage website
Robert Harland OrcID profile

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5. Yolandi Burger
Project Co-lead and Co-ordinator, Research Fellow in Graphic Heritage and Photographer, Loughborough University

During a bus ride in Leicester, United Kingdom, I came across a small park renamed Nelson Mandela Park in 1986. This unexpected connection to my home country, South Africa, sparked my curiosity. Its unique location, nestled beside a prison, hospital, and sports stadium, added layers of intrigue to its naming. This discovery prompted lively discussions with colleagues and friends at Loughborough University. In our informal talks, we delved into the significance of naming places after renowned figures like Nelson Mandela. We pondered the insights one could gain from such commemorative spaces and debated whether urban place names should serve as mere commemorations or as living embodiments of culture and heritage. These conversations led us to question how educational resources could be employed to amplify the symbolism of such places. Driven by our discussions on Mandela, we initiated a collaborative project with the Nelson Mandela Foundation titled “Memorialising Mandela in the Metropolis.” Our goal was to illuminate the roles of cultural connections, heritage preservation, and graphic representations in forging Mandela’s collective memory within public spaces. We navigated the intricacies of urban naming and the possibilities for enhancing these sites with educational and placemaking efforts. Our research encourages reflection on the importance of honouring historical figures in urban settings, underlining the crucial role these acts play in the preservation of culture and heritage. Furthermore, we delve into the complex landscape of urban graphic heritage, exploring its temporal, perceptual, morphological, visual, social, and functional aspects. 

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@Yolandi Burger  

Yolandi Burger staff profile 
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6. Shichao Zhao 
Co-investigator, UX Design Lead, Loughborough University

My research interests sit at the crossroads of Human–computer Interaction (HCI), Social Computing and Heritage Studies – especially in the studying and reflection of the design considerations that support heritage appreciation, enhance engagement, and increase the sharing of knowledge in a cross-cultural setting. Supported by the theoretical framework of research through design (RtD), I draw on multiple design and research methods to investigate how technologies and design methodologies can be used in cross-cultural contexts. Furthermore, my approach is informed by ethnographic and ethnomethodological traditions supported by the theoretical framework of RtD. One of my previous pieces of work investigates how participatory action research (PAR), principally the integration of interactive technology with co-design activities, can be applied to support the producing and sharing of community-based immigrant heritage for British-Chinese citizens. I also have a particular interest in interdisciplinary research methods and based on this I designed a practical method of deconstructing cultural elements based on the HCI perspective to enhance the cross-cultural appreciation of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage. This method provides a specific foundational framework that assists cross-cultural audiences to better understand the significance of cultural heritage.  

I have expertise in various areas which has been gained through both my doctoral education and academic experience in universities across the UK, which includes interactive media design, experience design, interaction and participatory design and education. Currently, I am a Lecturer in User Experience (UX) Design, which includes being module lead for Interactions & Experiences and Design for Heritage Futures in the School of Design and Creative Arts at Loughborough University.

In the Named after Nelson [NaN] project, I am particularly interested in exploring the potential of digital technology and how this can be adopted in supporting heritage understanding and experience, particularly in a cross-cultural context. I lead on the user experience and web development aspects of the project, as well as leveraging how users of the outcomes of this project can benefit in the long-term from digital solutions. 

Social Media 

Shichao Zhao X profile 
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7. Celeste McKenzie 
Art Director, Documentarian, Photographer and Narrative Storyteller 

Since childhood, I have been curious about different cultures, places, and languages. My mother was a keen photographer, and I share that interest, which later grew into a passion. I have developed and honed that skill as a social documentary photographer and videographer. The different paths in my career helped me to grow as a researcher, and over the last ten years, ethnographic research has become more prominent in my work as an educator. My perspective shifted towards poverty and displacement of people in South Africa as communities became despondent after nearly 30 years of democracy. Through my research projects, the exact phrase from everybody I interviewed was, “We were promised a better life; we are forgotten.” I was overjoyed when asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a project about Graphic Heritage and places named after Nelson Mandela. This was a collaboration between various stakeholders for which I was the art director, coordinator of the network of photographers, photographer, videographer and narrative storyteller. With the selection of multiple sites for this research, we focused on using photographers who have built relationships with various communities or have a personal connection to places document as part of this project.  

This project provided a variety of insights and various viewpoints from students and people living in communities associated with the name of Nelson Mandela and what it means to them. The overarching question which emerged for me was how people see the places documented in this project and what is their interaction with them. Do they interact with a place knowing the historical heritage of the place, or is it just a crossing from point A to B? What became evident is the two opposing viewpoints from young people born after 1994 and older generations growing up within Apartheid and experiencing the inauguration of Nelson Mandela and the newfound freedom of democracy in South Africa. This exhibition brings together the elements that will add curiosity, engage conversations, broaden knowledge, and add value in engaging with history and the value of associating a name with a place. 

I have visited some of these places in various capacities, as a visitor, an educator, and a researcher, which broadened my perspective on how ordinary South Africans perceive places named after Nelson Mandela. However, I also became aware of my shortcomings whilst engaging in this project through reflection of visiting or crossing places without consciously thinking about the graphic heritage of a place or a name. When you visit a foreign country, you instinctively know the name or place as you are only a visitor for a fleeting moment. This project urged me to question “How can I become more aware of the historical value of our country?” I think I have partially answered this question through my engagement in this project; however, there is scope for deeper exploration as I continue on my journey.  

Social Media 
Celeste McKenzie LinkedIn profile 
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8. Fidel Thabang Mosupye 

Running my own successful photography company was always in the back of my mind, and seeing Supreme Images create beautiful concepts both in video and photography for clients made me realise that my hard work and training paid off. You need to be passionate about your work and create an environment where you can be creative and support your family. By constantly adding to your knowledge base, you can grow into a multimedia specialist who can keep up with current online content creation and portfolio trends. Each client is different and requires that you build a relationship that will last you through various projects and referrals through word of mouth. Every project needs my attention to detail to set it apart from others. When the research team at Loughborough University approached me to work on their project in South Africa, I was excited to photo-document Nelson Mandela Park in Mamelodi, Pretoria. I know Mamelodi very well. I grew up in the area and have seen the region expand and grow into a bustling, thriving area. Nelson Mandela opened the park, and it provides recreational activities for the local community. The park is across from the Mamelodi Regional Hospital and provides a tranquil break for people visiting the hospital. The park is lined with trees, benches, a footpath, and playground equipment such as swings, see-saws, slides, merry-go-round, and a tractor for climbing. The park needs attention, and some of the playground equipment is broken, but still, it is used by children to climb on and provides endless activities. Through photographing the park, I soon realised that the name Nelson Mandela was only at the park entrance on a name board. It also raised the question of who is responsible for the caretaking of the park. I am glad I had the opportunity to photograph this place from a research perspective, which I don’t usually engage with since it changes the way you look through your camera’s lens and a whole new narrative of what you just accepted as everyday objects. 

Social Media 

Supreme Images Facebook profile
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9. Alet Pretorius

Nelson Mandela, a symbol of resilience, is a beacon from the past, influencing the present and shaping our aspirations for the future. Through encounters with individuals like Elizabeth Kgomo and David Mashasha, we are reminded of the responsibility to honour the sacrifices made by the older generation in the fight against injustice. Their experiences, like Mandela’s, echo the struggle for a life of equality. Yet, the inequality still in South African society highlights an ongoing battle we should all fight. As a photojournalist, I have captured important people and pivotal moments like Nelson Mandela’s life and funeral. I have witnessed and captured the challenges ordinary people face, their resilience and innovative solutions to problems. Injustices, the past guides our steps forward, urging us to confront and fix the persistent disparities. The vibrancy and determination of the youth to fight for a better future should inspire us. Acknowledging their passion and demands for change inspires us to do better and fight for equality. The Mandela Bridge, spanning creative hubs in Johannesburg like Braamfontein and Newtown, is a physical and symbolic link between the city’s diverse areas. This connection encapsulates the rich history of Newtown, once a hub of jazz and home to the Market Theatre and Market Photo Workshop.  Braamfontein, with its fashion stores, galleries, and academic institutions, adds a modern touch to this artistic landscape.  The melding of these creative spaces reflects the dynamic cultural tapestry of Johannesburg. The bridge becomes a metaphor for bridging the historical roots of Newtown’s jazz legacy with the contemporary creativity thriving in Braamfontein. In my career, telling South African stories internationally has been a highlight.  Photography has the power to overcome biases. Through teaching, I find hope. Young people have passion and are not resigned to how things are. They demand change. By empowering the next generation, we contribute to a future where storytelling becomes a tool for dismantling inequality, much like Mandela envisioned. 

Alet Pretorius LinkedIn profile
Alet Pretorius X profile

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10, 11, 12 Totem Media 
Exhibition Build Team : Sam Horowitz, Amanda Xulu, Ivornatte Chitambo and Renay Kneale

Totem Media is one of South Africa’s leading makers of museums and exhibitions. We are curious about the world and always look for fresh, innovative and unusual ways to interpret content. We aim to entertain and enlighten. We work closely with institutions and communities to establish archives, museums and cultural precincts. We develop bespoke educational media and offer heritage worker training. Our team has a wide range of skills: research, writing, educational media development, design, film production and interactive technology. We are focused on sustainability and good practice. 

Four of our team members are working on Named after Nelson. Our graphic designer, Renay Kneale, enjoys making complex information appealing through design and contemporary modes of communication. Our project manager and director, Samantha Horowitz is the driving force behind Totem Media’s successful implementation and delivery of several turnkey projects in South Africa and beyond. Ivy Chitambo is our archivist and researcher, passionate about digitising and conserving African heritage and is particularly interested in conserving historical materials linked to Southern African liberation struggles. Our project coordinator and researcher, Amanda Xulu, has a life-long love of African history and is committed to introducing younger generations to their history and heritage in ways that are thought-provoking, accessible, and inspirational.  

Our Totem Media team has found immense satisfaction in working on the Named after Nelson exhibition with Loughborough University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. We have loved the challenge of transforming dense and seemingly inaccessible information into engaging content, applying innovative and cost-effective methodologies. 

Totem Media Instagram profile 
Totem Media website 

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13. Everardt Burger
Planner and institutional link with Tshwane University of Technology

I am a lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria, South Africa, serving in the Department of Civil Engineering. My academic journey is defined by a strong commitment to teaching and research. My interdisciplinary approach to engineering and urban design distinguishes me and allows me to collaborate with academic and non-academic partners. I have worked on various projects that explore the intersections of civil engineering, urban planning and design, graphic heritage, and cultural memory. I was involved in the “Named after Nelson” and “Memorialising Mandela in the Metropolis” projects. These initiatives underscored the importance of graphic heritage in urban spaces and its impact on placemaking, an extension of my discipline that I find particularly fascinating.

Everardt Burger LinkedIn profile

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14. Market Photo Workshop Graduates 

The Market Photo Workshop, situated in the vibrant heart of Newtown, Johannesburg, stands as a beacon of photographic education, gallery exhibitions, and innovative projects. Established in 1989 by the internationally acclaimed photographer David Goldblatt, it has become a cornerstone for nurturing South Africa’s photographic talent, focusing on those from underserved communities. The institution is dedicated to ensuring visual literacy extends beyond conventional boundaries, reaching into the neglected and marginalised segments of society. Functioning under the aegis of The Market Theatre Foundation, this photographic school has, for over three decades, played an indispensable role in the photographic education of numerous South Africans, contributing significantly to the country’s visual culture and the global photography scene. 

Matsediso Dichaba honed her craft at the Market Photo Workshop, completing her advanced photography programme with a distinction. She ventured into entrepreneurship with her own photography business and served as an administrator for World Press Photo. Her role expanded as she became an assistant project manager at the Market Photo Workshop in the same year. Matsediso’s artistry in the visual realm shines through her focus on the performing arts, conceptual photography, and storytelling.

Khaya Njabulo Malinga explores church and community spaces in his art. In 2022, after completing his Advanced Photography Programme at Market Photo Workshop, he joined the Abadali Art for ‘JP Morgan’ collection and participated in the Atwork Soweto workshop mentored by Andrew Tshabangu. In 2023, Malinga exhibited in group shows mentored by Cedrick Nunn and Peter Boersma, including ‘Photography and Democracy’. He also featured in Rosebank’s 21 keys art mile.

Tsepiso Mahooe is a recent graduate from the Market Photo Workshop. She contributed to the ‘Democracy and Human Rights’ project and the Arts and Culture trust’s ‘Act Warrior Wall’ which honours icons like John Kani and Miriam Makeba. Her photography also featured prominently in Reebok South Africa’s 2022 campaign, reflecting her dedication to social commentary and cultural enrichment.

Matsediso Dichaba LinkedIn profile
Khaya Malinga LinkedIn profile
Ts’episo Mahooe LinkedIn profile

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15. Nkululeko Mthembu
Design Consultant 

As Director at Pista Ventures, I lead a venture building practice that uses research, data, and design to create innovative and impactful products, services, and ventures. I apply my skills in design ops, product management, user experience, data wrangling, and business development and strategy to solve problems and generate new growth, meaningful differentiation, and economic value. My involvement in NaN involves understanding the nuance of place-naming. The intricate relationship between people and placemaking. How this extends itself through the narrative of graphic heritage is what excites me about this project.

Pista website
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