Today is the centennial of the birth of Nelson Mandela (July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013).
Meanwhile around the world migrant camps are on the rise resembling shanty towns; In the U.S. – whose own history includes the incarceration of blacks at a higher rate than in South Africa even during the height of their Apartheid – immigrant detention centers continue to separate children from their families; In Italy, rescue boats are continually being turned away at the ports; And in Israel, later today, they will have passed a new law to declare itself a Nation-State of the Jewish people which declares that “the right to self-determination in Israel would be unique to the Jewish people,” essentially setting the ground work for their own apartheid for their Arab and non Jewish population. We have learned nothing from history.
So while the Trumps, the Bannons, and the Le Pens, the Berlusconis, the Salvinis, and the Netanyahus of the world continue to be on the wrong side of humanity, today, we honor the life and work Nelson Mandela through a survey of images covering the struggles of the Apartheid era, of race relations, and of oppression and resistance in South Africa, featuring the photography of David Turnley, Raymond Depardon, Ian Berry, Steve McCurry, Kay Muldoon, and David Goldblatt.
Google Mandela archive
Ian Berry / Guy Le Querrec
In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions.
–Nelson Mandela / October 1962
During my lifetime I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
–Nelson Mandela / April 20, 1964