Though Nelson Mandela may be in his final resting place, his legacy will continue to live on through various projects which he made and others which were established in his honour.
To celebrate the icon’s 95th birthday, a team of South African designers came up with the initiative of commemorating his life by digitally collecting 95 originally designed posters from around the world.
There were 700 entries from approximately 37 different countries and ultimately 95 were selected as finalists. The designs of Botswana’s own Martin Joel and Onica Lekuntwane were among the 95 finalists.
“The first exhibition was held in Pretoria, during Mandela’s 95th birthday celebrations, the exhibition has enjoyed international exposure everywhere except Botswana,” said Matenge. “We have recently been reliably informed through the Mandela Poster Project Facebook page that since Mr Mandela’s passing, the exhibition is being projected at the Union Buildings in Pretoria where his viewing is also being conducted for people to pay their last respect.”
Matenge added: “Joel and l have contributed greatly to the visual communication community in Johannesburg, his poster, was inspired by a Jacob’s coffee installation of Nelson Mandela, which he conceptualised and actualised whilst he was working as a designer in Johannesburg and since we took the decisions separately to return home, we would not like all this to be in vain, when it could inspire upcoming designers to think locally, but act globally, as the saying goes.”
By the end of the year, the 95 Collection will have been exhibited at 12 venues across South Africa as well as in Montreal, Canada and London. The travelling schedule for 2014 is currently being finalised and will possibly include exhibitions in Brazil, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the US and Spain.
The Mandela Poster Project have recently put out another call for submissions (still via Facebook), to honour the life of Nelson Mandela. This is an opportunity to get more Batswana’s visual communication talent out to the world, whilst contributing to a worthy cause. I strongly believe that our two entries could act as a positive benchmark for this.