The Mandela Poster Project that was unveiled in time for Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday on 18 July has made news around the world, with television coverage from all the major international networks and newspapers from six continents paying attention to the project.
The poster project started off as an initiative by two South African designers to honour Nelson Mandela and produced more than 700 entries from around 70 countries across the world. The poster entries were then curated and a selection of 95 (representing Madiba’s 95 years) were exhibited at the University of Pretoria. Due to public pressure the exhibition has been extended until 26 July.
The poster exhibition will then travel to several venues in South Africa and to other countries. Invitations to exhibit have already been received from Brazil, Mexico, the USA, and China. The final collection will eventually go on auction as a fundraising tool for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.
A group of volunteers, all experts in their fields, joined forces to organise the initiative and is now known as the Mandela Poster Project Collective. One member of the Collective, Ithateng Mokgoro, a South African designer said that the world’s creative community was asked to donate posters and that they responded with creativity, love and mind-blowing stuff.
Another member of the Collective, designer Marco Cannata said that he was overwhelmed by the speed at which the project exploded. He added that what started as a humble idea turned into a global initiative.
The curated collection of posters is representative of 36 countries. Because of the huge number of entries, talks are underway with sponsors to take up 500 posters in a limited edition coffee table book that will also be used to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.
The poster project has been endorsed by Icograda (International Council for Communication Design) as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.
The entries can be viewed here