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On 14th March 1982, we invited community members (from across Islington and beyond) to a special celebratory and commemorative event to mark 40 years since the attack on Penton Street by the apartheid regime. The image above shows some of the event’s attendees on Lift Youth Hub’s rooftop, from where the site of the bomb blast at the back of 28 Penton Street is visible.

The event, held at Lift Youth Hub was very well attended, with over 80 people joining. There were community leaders, collaborators and partners from Islington, former anti-apartheid activists and solidarity partakers, local, national and international politicians and members of the UK’s large Southern African diaspora.

We created a space to acknowledge past injustice and the historical reminder of the violence that division breeds, while nurturing a creative, connected community response to the event and to celebrate the creation of the Anti-Apartheid Legacy: Centre of Memory and Learning within the heritage of that site.

Image showing damage caused by the blast at 54 White Lion Street and at the former White Lion Free School – now Lift Youth Hub. 

The event began with some reflections around the historical event and its contemporary resonances delivered by our trustees Lord Peter Hain and Suresh Kamath and Director Caroline Kamana and guests heard a presentation on the continuing relevance of the link between SA and the UK via a message from the South African High Commission delivered by Mr Ramushu (Minister Economic).

These speeches were followed by an introduction to some of our creative arts programming led by two young poets, Allegresse and Almas, from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School with whom we’ve been working to co-create the Centre of Memory and Learning. Attendees were also able to explore the exhibition, Fighting Apartheid in Islington, co-created with Caledonian Clock Tower, and had an opportunity to view the location of the blast at Penton Street from the roof top terrace at Lift Youth Hub.


The Islington Tribune covered the event in this article 


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