We are delighted to welcome architect, activist and curator Angus Leendertz to the 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival.

FGLF 2018 Participant - Angus Leendertz

Angus Leendertz is a South African-Australian anti-apartheid activist, an accomplished interior design architect, who has worked on several landmark projects in South Africa including the conversion of the Robben Island Medium B Prison (World Heritage Site where Nelson Mandela spent most of his time in prison ) and the curator of “Memories of the Struggle – Australians against Apartheid” at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra and Constitution Hill Museum in Johannesburg where it is currently running.

Angus Leendertz is a native of Cape Town who left South Africa in 1974 to complete his studies in Interior Architecture at the Gerrit Rietveldt Academie in Amsterdam having completed a course in Graphic Design at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT.

He emigrated to Australia in 1980 where he began his career working on many high profile projects in the field of architecture and design.

In 1995 when Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, called on South Africans who had left the country to return, to help build a new, free South Africa, Leendertz responded enthusiastically and relocated to Cape Town until 2010, where he changed the focus of his professional practice to the Heritage sector.

His landmark projects in South Africa include the Permanent Exhibition on Slavery at the Slave Lodge Cape Town and the Conversion of the Robben Island Medium B Prison (where Nelson Mandela was kept for 27 years) to a museum and resource centre with accommodation, which included a Seta (Sector Education & Training Authority) approved product design learnership.

FGLF 2018 Participant Angus Leendertz Project - Conversion of Robben Island Prison

Flagship design projects for the Parliament of South Africa, the Arabella Sheraton Hotels and Kirstenbosch restaurant attest to a diverse portfolio.

At various times in his career he has worked as a Livelihood Consultant for UNESCO and the Ford Foundation conceptualizing and piloting courses in product design development as a means of income generation for historically disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and communities in South Africa and other locations in Africa.

Returning to live permanently in Sydney in 2010 he took it upon himself to lead the process of documenting the (photographic) history of the anti-apartheid movements in Australia from the 1950’s to 1994 and is currently the curator of a national exhibition “Memories of the Struggle – Australians against Apartheid” at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra.

FGLF 2018 Angus Leendertz Exhibition - Memories of the Struggle - Australians against Apartheid.

The exhibition, Memories of the Struggle, was developed in partnership with the Australian High Commission in Pretoria, DIRCO (South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation) and with financial and creative assistance of The City of Sydney, Customs House Museum Sydney, The Search Foundation, The UCT – Australia Trust and individuals.

The exhibition is a photographic timeline of events that weaves together a narrative of Australia’s involvement in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa over a period of more than 30 years and illustrates Australia’s substantial historical links with, and support for, the anti-apartheid movement. The content includes the Australian Government’s leadership pursuing financial sanctions and sports boycotts, as well as non-governmental activities led by trade unions, churches and individual activists.

Angus Leendertz resides in Sydney.


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