Former women prisoners to meet their captors on Conhill

Please note: this event has been postponed till December 10 2014. We will advertise the new details shortly. In the meantime you can still send an email to [email protected] to book your place. 

In celebration of women in South Africa, Constitution Hill in partnership with the Mail & Guardian, will be hosting Bars: The Price of Freedom Dialogue as part of the Colours of a Woman portfolio.

The event will showcase the stories of women who were previously incarcerated at the Old Fort Women’s Gaol at Constitution Hill. 

In contrast, female wardens who worked at the jail during different times in its history will recount their experiences on the other side of the prison bars, creating a dual re-telling of memories.

These women have not seen each other in over 30 years and will face each other in dialogue for the first time since their spells on both sides of the prison bars. 

The dialogue will interrogate what the struggle meant to each of them. In the context of 20 years of democracy, the women will be asked if the price they paid for freedom and the sacrifices they made during apartheid were worth it.

This landmark event will also provide a unique platform for women from all walks of life to network in a setting rich with history and significance.

Constitution Hill has a very complex history going back to 1892 when the Old Fort was built under the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek, functioning as a prison. 

One of the buildings added to the fort in the late 1900s was the Women’s Prison (1907), where struggle stalwarts such as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Fatima Meer, Sibongile Mkhabela and countless more were incarcerated. 

Event details
Date: December 10 2014
Time: TBC
Venue: TBC
Price: TBC
Bookings: Send an email to  [email protected]

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday