Nelson Mandela

The sculpture of Nelson Mandela in Natal by Marco Cianfanelli and erected in 2012

By Willem van der Walt

At the exact spot where Nelson Mandela was arrested by the Apartheid police in 1962, the sculptor Marco Cianfanelli was commissioned to do this remarkable likeness of Mandela. 

There are fifty steel columns, from six to ten metres high, that seem at first irregular and randomly dispersed.  If you follow a path to about thirty metres from them, you grasp their meaning.  At this distance, the columns align perfectly and form Mandela’s profile, looking westward.

Source:  Brad Honeycutt: Illusions (Hugo: Image, 2014)

In a press release, Cianfanelli said, “The fifty columns represent the fifty years since the arrest, but they also evoke the idea of individual entities in a state of solidarity.  The columns also have the feel of prison bars, until the visage becomes apparent.  His incarceration then, fomented political change and the struggle for democracy.”  

Willem van der Walt

Writer, poet, lyricist, playwright based in the South of France. Some of his work is available on Amazon

Have a look at Willem’s Afrikaans piece about Frieda Ollemans

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