Friday, 3 February 2012

A revolutionary life: Ruth First 1925-1982

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies has recently begun a project focused on the life and work of Ruth First, the South African journalist, writer, scholar and anti-apartheid activist. This project will include selective digitisation of some of the material from the Ruth First Archive collection held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library.

Also as part of the project a symposium is planned for the 7th of June, details below:

A revolutionary life: Ruth First 1925-1982

07 June 2012, 10:00 - 19:00
Room 349 (Senate House, University of London)

This event is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

Ruth First was an anti-apartheid activist, investigative journalist, and scholar. First worked her entire life to end apartheid in South Africa, writing in 1969 she explained how she her life was dedicated ‘to the liberation of African for I count myself an African, and there is no cause I hold dearer’. Her knowledge of the continent was phenomenal and she knew many of the continent’s leading political figures Nelson Mandela, Ben Bella, Oginda Odinga. First was an influential figure, who saw activism, solidarity work (for the anti-apartheid struggle) and her research and writing as inextricably linked. She was exiled from South Africa in 1964, with her husband, the prominent South African communist Joe Slovo and their children. In 1982, while working in Mozambique, Ruth First was killed by a letter bomb sent by South Africa secret service.

2012 is the thirtieth anniversary of Ruth First’s murder. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICS) and the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau are holding a one-day celebration of Ruth First’s extraordinary life and work. The event is part of year long project that is digitising some of Ruth First’s papers and books held at the ICS.

The event will include Justice Albie Sachs, Gillian Slovo, Barbara Harlow, Shula Marks and Alan Wieder.

Cost: £10 (standard); £5 (students/unwaged) (includes lunch and refreshments)

Registration form


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