On the 25th and 26th of June 2015 the NIHSS and Liliesleaf Trust held a commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Freedom Charter at Liliesleaf Farm. Liliesleaf Farm was home to the treason trialists, it is a rich repository of our history. The original signed copy of the Freedom Charter is housed on its distinguished grounds. Signed on the 26th of June 1955 in Kliptown, Soweto, the Freedom Charter is a foundational document in South Africa’s democracy, espousing the principles and values of the quest for social justice and equality. The colloquium contributed to the national conversation about the history and collective memory of South Africa’s liberation struggle to democracy.
Attended by struggle veterans, academics and students, the event catalogued a diversity of experiences and contributed to the national project of constructing our collective memory. Through deliberation, laughter and even tears, history was recalled and contemplated.
Chairperson of the NIHSS Board, Professor Ari Sitas in his key note address asserted that “the Institute with the help of valuable partners like Liliesleaf shall facilitate the opening and the dismantling of many doors of learning; we will concern ourselves with relevance in all its forms; we will aspire to help our tertiary institutions think through the challenges of freedom and equality.” We thank our guests for joining us and look forward to future engagements.