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How did Apartheid happen, and how did it finally end? - Thula Simpson


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For 46 years, South Africans lived under Apartheid, a strict policy of segregation that barred the country’s Black majority from skilled, high-paying jobs, quality education, voting, and much more. So, how did these laws come to be? And how did this era of institutionalized discrimination finally come to an end? Thula Simpson explores how colonization led to the national trauma of Apartheid.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Apartheid was a system of racial discrimination that was introduced in South Africa in 1948. The apartheid era lasted until 1994, when democratic elections led to the installation of a new government headed by Nelson Mandela.

Here is a series of podcasts by leading historians of South Africa (Bernard Mbenga, William Beinart, Saul Dubow, Tom Lodge, Hlonipha Mokoena, Colin Bundy, Thula Simpson, and Jeremy Seekings) that consider in detail the main phases of the apartheid era.

Revisit the diverse worlds of Apartheid in a series of reports from South Africa, covering the years 1962 to 1984.

The struggle against Apartheid drew on international solidarity and support to an unusual degree. These efforts were coordinated and led by the External Mission of the African National Congress, which came to power after the end of apartheid. This documentary offers an overview of the efforts by Oliver Tambo, the President of the External Mission, to isolate the apartheid government.

Nelson Mandela was the leading figure of the anti-apartheid struggle, and his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (LWTF), is an established classic of modern nonfiction. Go behind the scenes of LWTF at this site, which features interviews, biographies, a basic timeline, and other details from his life.

Over a period of 20 years from 1985 to 2005, the journalist Padraig O’Malley interviewed practically everybody who was anybody in the struggle against Apartheid. Find his webpage here, with links to his interviews, research materials (including documents and reports), and useful chronologies of key events.

For an audiovisual account of the end of Apartheid and the transition to a new South Africa, find a digestible version from the South African Broadcasting Corporation here and an epic two-part deep dive by eNCA here and here.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Thula Simpson
  • Director Aya Marzouk
  • Animation Studio Giraffics
  • Narrator Safia Elhillo
  • Storyboard Artist Salah Hassan
  • Animatic by Aya Quandeel, Loay Ashraf, Alia Wahby, Nermeen Azab, Hussein Medhat, Mohamed Gabal
  • Animation Supervisor Aya Quandeel
  • Animator Ahmed Halaby, Hussein Medhat, Loay Ashraf, Nermeen Azab, Maged ElMoghazy, Khaled Mosbah
  • Compositor Hussein Medhat
  • Giraffics Producer Habiba El Khashab
  • Art Director Aya Marzouk
  • Character Designer Amr ElAttar
  • Illustrator Assem Essam, Gehan Mounir, Sandra Mouneer, Amr ElSawy
  • Composer Salil Bhayani, cAMP Studio
  • Sound Designer Amanda P.H. Bennett, cAMP Studio
  • vocals Luyolo Lenga
  • Instruments played by Luyolo Lenga Uhadi (Calabash bow), Umrhubhe (Mouth bow) , Isitolotolo (Jaw harp) , Masengwane (Friction drum)
  • Produced by Gerta Xhelo, Abdallah Ewis
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Script Editor Stephanie Honchell Smith
  • Fact-Checker Charles Wallace

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