(Re)collections in the archive: making and remaking the International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF) archival collection
Frieslaar, Geraldine Le Anne
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The work of the International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF) conducted between 1956 and 1991 gave rise to a collection of records that traverse 35 years of support work. As a solidarity organisation IDAF provided support to liberation movements in South Africa through their legal and welfare assistance programmes. Equally significant, IDAF also sought to highlight the oppressive machinery of the apartheid government through the deployment of their research, information and publications programmes as a way of creating awareness and ‘keeping the conscience of the world alive.’ When the administrative records of IDAF were relocated to South Africa, with the Mayibuye Centre for History and Culture as chosen location, they were turned into an archival collection which also became a memorial to IDAF’s resistance work located in the foremost anti-apartheid university and politically in a new project that intended to create a museum about apartheid. Later the collection was incorporated into the Robben Island Museum (RIM) through an agreement between the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the Museum. The dissertation examines the cultural history and the political life of the IDAF archival collection and the processes through which it was made and continues to be remade.