Mandela posters show world’s respect

[Image] Dimitris Anapliotis of Greece submitted his, one of 700 submissions.
(Image: Mandela Poster Project)

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A special art initiative called the Mandela Poster Project has been launched to celebrate the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela, and the unexpectedly abundant response is a measure of how the statesman is admired and respected around the world.

The project was initiated by two South African designers, Mohammed Jogie and Jacques Lange – the pair wanted to honour Madiba and raise money for his dream, a children’s hospital in Johannesburg, through a simple social media exercise.

According to them, this would show how the world views the iconic figure of Mandela through the medium of graphic design.

Jogie and Lange put out a call for poster designers about two months ago with the hope of collecting 95 posters, one for every year of Madiba’s life.

The project garnered so much interest that it attracted designers from more than 70 countries, including Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, Hungary, Romania, Spain and Italy. All in all, 700 designs were received over the 60 days.

The winning posters come from Argentina (1), Australia (2), Bahrain (1), Belgium (1), Bolivia (1), Botswana (2), Brazil (7), Canada (6), China (3), Colombia (2), Cuba (1), Democratic Republic of the Congo (1), Denmark/UK/South Africa (1), Egypt (1), France (5), Germany (1), Greece (4), Honduras/El Salvador (1), India (2), Iran (3), Israel (2), Italy (3), Kenya (1), Malaysia (1), Mexico (6), Netherlands (1), Slovenia (2), South Africa (18), South Korea (2), Taiwan (2), Trinidad and Tobago (1), UK (1), US (8), Venezuela (2), and Zimbabwe (1).

Celebrating Mandela’s spirit

Jogie described the project as a “pure artistic expression of Madiba”, adding that they had been overwhelmed by the response. “It’s is a celebration of his spirit and his contribution to humanity.”

Despite the deadline for entries having passed a month ago, Jogie said they still continued to receive posters from those who had shown a keen interest in the project.

“We are now considering publishing a coffee table book that will show all the posters submitted,” he said, “once we get sponsorship.”

Contributors were asked to send their posters as an A2, 300dpi PDF file, and to be careful not to infringe any copyrights.

The exhibition can be viewed from Thursday 18 July to Monday 22 July, at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Visual Arts. Gallery hours are between 09h00 and 18h00, and there is no entrance fee. Two walkabouts will take place on 20 and 21 July at 15h00.

Supporting the Mandela Children’s Hospital

The initiative was open to all and entrants had to agree to donate their poster without charge to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust and allow the trust to exhibit and reproduce copies as part of its fundraising programme.

The trust will respect the intellectual rights of all contributors and will not sell copies of the artwork.

The winning 95 posters will be printed in a single special edition and launched online on the eve of Mandela’s birthday, before being auctioned off by the trust.

Another set of posters will form part of a travelling exhibition. Invitations for the exhibition to visit have already been received from Brazil, Mexico, the US, and China.

The project has also been endorsed by Icograda (International Council for Communications Design), as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.