Gandhi's Johannesburg


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BK404

Birthplace of Satyagraha

From the young mining town of Johannesburg came ideas of peaceful struggle which spread across the world. Formulated by Mohandas Gandhi in the early 1900s, the philosophy of Satyagraha (soul force or passive resistance) became an inspiration to millions all over the world.

For a decade, during the formative years of his philosophy, Gandhi lived in and around Johannesburg where he established a prosperous law practice, though his legal work was soon overtaken by his political activism in support of Indian rights. During that decade, he made the streets and suburbs of the city his own, changing homes frequently and walking tirelessly.

Tolstoy Farm and other places and buildings captured in words and pictures in this evocative book are landmarks of Ghandi’s personal and political growth. The sites featured span huge social divides, from slums and shanties of the old Indian Location to the comfortable suburbs reserved for whites. Considered as a whole, they and the events surrounding them are an essential part of the Gandhian experience.

Eric Itzkin, a specialist in African Studies, has worked as a research librarian, archivist and museum curator. He is the curator: Cultural History at Museum Africa.