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Intellectual Agenda


The Nelson Mandela Museum subscribes to the concept of life long learning. The seminars are the intellectual programme of the Museum for the discussion, understanding and investigation of issues regarding the history of the liberation struggle, the history of Nelson Mandela and his role in the liberation struggle as well as the history of his contemporaries.

Through the seminar programme, the Museum promotes a meaningful study and community engagement that provides a forum for historical and contemporary topics of concern and interest to the Museum and the heritage sector.

This enables an environment of diverse voluntary learning such as critical analysis, better understanding of the past and the complexity of the world we live in.


The Nelson Mandela Museum’s colloquia aim to bring together scholars and practitioners researching and practising in the fields of Museum and heritage. It also facilitates a space for theoreticians and practitioners to engage in debates about Museums and cultural practices in our era and to celebrate the role of major actors in the liberation struggle such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and many others.

The colloqiua provide an opportunity to talk across disciplines as well as offering a much needed opportunity for scholars and practitioners in Museums and other cultural arenas to interact.


The Museum’s research programme is aimed at the continuous investigation and engagement with conservation and analysis of Museum collection. The unit is also aimed at positioning the Nelson Mandela Museum as an expert institution on the life of Nelson Mandela.

Currently the Museum research capacity is limited and is one area in which the Museum needs to build capacity if it has to achieve its objective of becoming a premier research institution on the life of Nelson Mandela.


The artist in residence programme offers visiting artists conditions conducive to creativity and provides working facilities ready to be used by individual artists. This work must reflect on racism, gender discrimination, xenophobia, poverty and other social ills as it also explores and advances the ideas of reconciliation. The residency allows the Museum to increase it collections and remain relevant to its contemporary environment.

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