Saturday, April 01, 2006

Connecting with our Humanity

Last week we went for our second visit to Constitution Hill ( I postponed my post in order to have my second trip there and blog about it now. In the past two weeks we visited a place of heartache and hope. It is difficult to write down the feelings you experience when walking through the buildings. Emotions were running wild. Sadness, respect, anger, embarrassment, resentment…

But I have realised that this is a place one could look at as a beacon of hope for the future. In one of the blocks where ex-president Nelson Mandela was held, there was a television screen that imaged his experience in this jail. The one comment by him is something that I will never forget, and I think it is also the main message behind his workings. In summary he said that one should never forget the past in order to continue into the future, but one must always remember not to dwell on the past either.

Constitution Hill is a representation of the people who have suffered due to apartheid. It is a means to make the victims, and not the perpetrators, the focus and the central point of the struggle. I think many of the ex-prisoners felt it possible to wake up from their nightmares and they too can share in the healing process South Africa and its people is experiencing. Con Hill is also a way of restoring the dignity of black people and make white people compassionate. This is another step towards reconciliation.

It was a fantastic tour. I would recommend it to anyone. And I’m especially excited to see the outcomes of the Human Rights Campus.


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