Geographical Association

Join the GA

The leading subject association for all teachers of geography

Images of Southern Africa - Robben Island

Robben Island lies some 12km off Cape Town and was a prison for over 400 years. It is now a museum and conservation area and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. (See www.robben-island.org.za)

The Island is most associated with Nelson Mandela who spent 18 of his 27 years in prison there. Mandela was born 18 July 1918 in a village near Umtata, then the capital of the former black homeland of the Transkei. His birth name Rolihlahla means ‘trouble maker’; he was given the English name Nelson at mission school.

In 1964 Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for being a member of the then banned African National Congress (ANC) and for acts of sabotage and conspiracy against the state. He was sent to Robben Island with other ANC leaders and imprisoned there until 1982 when he was transferred to Pollsmore Prison in Cape Town. Mandela was released on 11 February 1990, was elected leader of the ANC in 1991 and became President of South Africa following elections in April 1994.

Robben Island is an example of what historical geographers refer to as a ‘landscape of memory’. Many countries work to retain memories of the past by making important sites centres of pilgrimage. Auschwitz in Poland is one such landscape of memory. Visitors now embark for Robben Island through the ‘Nelson Mandela Gateway’ on the Cape Town waterfront where the sense of pilgrimage is evoked.

The photograph shows the entrance to the Robben Island prison. The information over the entrance is provided in two languages: Afrikaans and English.


Ideas for further exploration:

  • In what ways is Robben Island being preserved as a ‘landscape of memory’?
  • Can you think of any other ‘landscapes of memory’ from around the world that countries/international organisations would seek to preserve? Why would they wish to do so?


<<< back to image menu

Comment on this page

Comments made by GA members appear instantly and don't require security words to be entered - make sure you're logged in!   Guest comments will be sent to a moderator for approval.

GA members can add a profile picture and their comments appear instantly

Join the GA

Please complete all fields

Page Tags

Africa

Journals - Free Access for GA Members

The Summer 2014 issue of Primary Geography focuses on 'Cor!' geography, celebrating geography's unique ability to link with every subject in the curriculum and combine this with the subject's awe and wonder

The focus of this issue is 'health geography'. Besides the focus articles it includes many articles that will be useful to teachers planning a new key stage 3 for the autumn.

The Summer 2014 issue of Geography

Online Shop - Up to 30% Discount for all GA Members

Barnaby Bear’s World Map

£13.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

Climate Change (DVD)

£61.99 / £50.99 *

Add to basket

SuperSchemes: Barnaby Bear Investigates the UK

£14.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

Geography: A Place in your Curriculum

£4.99

Add to basket

Barnaby Bear’s UK Map

£13.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

SuperSchemes: Barnaby Bear Investigates the World

£14.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

Geography Through Enquiry: Approaches to teaching and learn..

£31.99 / £22.99 *

Add to basket

Countries of the World Wall Map

£10.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

United Kingdom Wall Map

£10.99 / £9.99 *

Add to basket

United Kingdom Wall Map and Countries of the World Wall Map

£18.99 / £15.99 *

Add to basket
<-- -->

Your shopping basket is empty.

Items in basket 0

Basket Total £0.00

View/Edit Basket

* Applies to Full Personal, Group and
Concessionary members only

Resource Finder

Enter a keyword below or click 'advanced search' for more options


Advanced Search





Resources section
  • Find out more
  • Advertisement: Geography Education at the IOE
  • Visit the Discover the World website for geography resources

© Copyright The Geographical Association 2013

Charity No: 1135148 Company No: 07139068

Website design and development by Ledgard Jepson