To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s capture by the apartheid police, artist Marco Cianfanelli designed a beautiful sculpture. The installation, which gorgeously displays Mandela’s profile, resides 90km South of Durban, surrounded by a midlands landscape of South Africa, and is made up of 50 anchored steel columns each between 6.5 and 9 meters high. The columns symbolize the prison bars that incarcerated Mandela for 27 years of his life sentence before he went on to become the president of South Africa.
According to the artist:
This represents the momentum gained in the struggle through the symbolic of Mandela’s capture. The 50 columns represent the 50 years since his capture, but they also suggest the idea of many making the whole; of solidarity. It points to an irony as the political act of Mandela’s incarceration cemented his status as an icon of struggle, which helped ferment the groundswell of resistance, solidarity and uprising, bringing about political change and democracy.
Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” He sacrificed his own freedom to fight for the freedom of others and for this he has been a hero and source of inspiration to much of the world. Marco Cianfanelli’s sculpture is a breathtaking symbol that perfectly captures the essence of Mandela. Find out more about this project and many others on Cianfanelli’s website.