Around the World with Madiba

Rafiq Elmansy (Egypt)

Happy Birthday from Egypt. Image by Rafiq Elmansy (Egypt).

Ninety-five original posters of our iconic former President Nelson Mandela are travelling the globe, touching the hearts of thousands. Here are just a few of our favourites:

Above: An evocative depiction of a gently smiling Mandela with a large flock of birds fluttering around him, symbolising his values of peace, freedom and humanity. Image by Carlos Andrade, Venezuela.

Above left: Bold words in striking colours reflect Mandela’s accomplishments as an agent of change, leader, liberator, unifier and influencer.

Above right: An elegant layered narrative, with the overlaid letters in vivid colours reflecting the words: “Man/Mandela/Madiba”, revering a leader who, like Mahatma Ghandi, fought for a nation’s freedom.

Above left: A shimmering black dove soars from both the confines of prison bars and the poster’s edges. The bird acknowledges Mandela as an African and a symbol of liberty.

Above right: A satirical work reflecting a famous poster of Bob Dylan designed by Milton Glaser in the 1970s and adding a new dimension to the concept by using quotations by Mandela to fashion his grey hair.

Above left: Before and After, with black and white bars in the upper section, reflecting the stark separation of humanity before Mandela healed SA and made it a field of colour, as depicted in the lower section: a rainbow nation comprising multi-cultural people and ideals.

Above right: New African Map is created by shaping Mandela’s face in a mosaic pattern made up of a reconfigured African map. It’s further illustrated by the dream of an Africa at peace with itself.

Above left: Inspired by Radio Raheem, a character in Spike Lee’s film, Do The Right Thing, whose story echoes Mandela’s life and shows how love (“uthando“) defeats hate.

Above right: Mandela is represented through his ideas and values, with the poster quoting his words on how education can change the world.

Image by Jimmy Ball, USA.

Above: A portrayal of Mandela’s name as a statement of power:  Power to fight. Power to persevere. At first glance, it appears to be a left hand facing the viewer, but upon closer inspection, one realises it’s Madiba’s raised right hand, seen from behind as he leads the nation forward.

Read more about this travelling exhibition in the July issue of Sawubona magazine, download here, for free, or visit the Mandela Poster Project website.

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