Anti-Apartheid in Exile
Alfred Hutchinson’s Road to Ghana
This project tells the story of Alfred Hutchinson’s escape from South Africa. A black South African writer, teacher and activist, in 1956 Alfred was charged with treason along with 155 other anti-apartheid leaders. Following the ten month long Preparatory Hearing of the Treason Trial, Alfred visited the Central Indian High School in Johannesburg where he had been teaching before his arrest. There he met, Hazel Slade, a white teacher from England. In an act of defiance that symbolically challenged South Africa’s racially ordered society, the couple fell in love. Under intense pressure and harassment, Alfred and Hazel decided to leave South Africa for what they hoped would be a better life out of the oppressive reach of the apartheid regime. When, on October 13th 1958, the Crown temporarily withdrew the treason indictment, the couple seized their opportunity and quickly put into action their planned escape to Ghana. As the first African nation to gain independence from colonial power in 1957, Ghana represented a safe-haven. However, it was also almost 3000 miles away, and could only be reached by crossing countries sympathetic to the apartheid government that would not hesitate to return Alfred, as an illegal fugitive, to South Africa.
This project visually maps the journey of Alfred and Hazel from South Africa to Ghana. Supplemented by an audio commentary from Hazel Hutchinson, by clicking the boxes on the right hand side of the page you can learn how the couple escaped South Africa.
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