www.gandhifoundation.co.za – Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Foundation, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

The PGF, in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), is hosting the GMK  2023 International Conference in June in Pietermaritzburg.

At the inaugural conference held at Stanford University in October 2019, it was proposed that the next conference be held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, focusing on the legacies of Gandhi, Mandela and King. The conference is being co-hosted by the PGF and the Humanities Institute of the UKZN’s College of Humanities, with support from a host of institutions and organisations both locally and internationally.

After the challenges of the pandemic over the past three years, this conference is the first to be hosted since then, and is the inaugural Gandhi Mandela King Conference. What a privilege to be critically exploring the teachings and legacies of these illustrious icons of the 20th century, in a common space!

The conference will be held from the 6th – 9th June 2023 under the theme: Peace and Justice for All – Mobilizing for Nonviolent Action (Ahimsa). Amongst the distinguished speakers who will be in attendance, is Stanford University’s Prof. Clayborne Carson, Centennial Professor Emeritus of History.  Prof. Carson will be delivering the Keynote address after the official opening of the Conference by Dr Ela Gandhi. Prof. Carson’s address will inform the theme of the entire Conference as he explores Dr. King’s question, “Where do we go to from here?” The Conference  coincides with the 130th year anniversary of the now historical eviction of the young Indian lawyer, Mohandas K. Gandhi, from a first class compartment, on 7th June 1893 at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station, an event which launched the young Gandhi into a life of social activism, and which gave birth to the weapon of satyagraha – truth force.

2023 is also the 30th year anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Africa and India, and we are  expecting that the June GMK conference will form part of the programme to commemorate this milestone.

With its international collaborative nature, the conference will see 300+ delegates from around the globe converge in Pietermaritzburg, including senior officials from India and South Africa, as well as eminent scholars from the USA, India and other parts of the world. While the conference seeks to offer a scholarly platform for critical reflection on the legacies of the three world icons, it aims to contribute towards meaningful and constructive outcomes around the issues of global peace and justice, issues now relevant more than ever. Great international interest in the conference has already been generated.