Hacking the Museum: Mandela27 – A Democratic DIY Pop-Up Installation

Jacqueline Anne Cawston, Nomatshayina Mfeketho, David Powell, Dimitar Angelov


In Mandela27 the museum was ‘hacked’ to create a democratic Do-it-Yourself (DIY) pop-up exhibition, inspired by the story of Nelson Mandela’s incarceration. The installation tells the story of the journey from apartheid to democracy and reconciliation in South Africa through a 360 video, archival photographs, a digital game and an interactive timeline – all displayed from within a symbolic reconstruction of Mandela’s cell in Robben Island Prison.

The project succeeded in involving a range of diverse audiences, including visitors from under-represented social groups, through its design as a low-cost, pop-up physical/digital installation. It was the design of Mandela27 that allowed it to be made available and freely accessible online across Europe and South Africa, where it has been displayed in multiple ways by local communities. Since 2015, the installation has been exhibited at over 50 venues to over 184,000 people and was still touring in 2023.


Hacking, Museum, Pop-Up, Democratic, Mandela

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.29311/mas.v21i1.4289

Copyright (c) 2023 Jacqueline Anne Cawston, Nomatshayina Mfeketho, David Powell, Dimitar Angelov

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Museum and Society

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