Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Poster of the Week

100 Many Mandelas
Juan Fuentes
Silkscreen, 1986
San Francisco, California
CSPG’s Poster of the Week honors Nelson Mandela Day, July 18, established in 2009 by the United Nations General Assembly, to mark his contribution to world freedom. Celebrated around the world, this July 18 also marks Mandela’s 93nd birthday.
The featured poster by Juan Fuentes was made while Mandela was still in prison. Under multiple images of Mandela, a large red ribbon noting AIDS awareness dominates the poster. The following quote come from a 2002 speech by Mandela.
The enormity of the threat posed by HIV/AIDS cannot be overstated.
HIV/AIDS is a danger to all of our people - young and old, rich and poor, men and women, those in the cities and those in the countryside.
HIV/AIDS is the greatest danger we have faced for many, many centuries.
HIV/AIDS is worse than a war. It is like a world war. Millions of people are dying from it. As we speak now, there are thousands of people dying from it this moment.
But this war can be won. This is one war where each and every one of us can make a difference. It is through the combined efforts of all of us that we stand the best chance of victory in this war against HIV/AIDS.
In January 2005, Mandela’s 54 year old son Makgatho, a lawyer and father of four, died of AIDS. Mandela asked all South Africans to treat AIDS as an "ordinary" disease rather than a curse for which "people will go to hell and not to heaven." His only other son died in a car accident in 1969.
More than 5 million South Africans are infected with the AIDS virus, HIV -- the largest number of cases in a single country -- and at least 1,000 a day die from complications of AIDS, according to the United Nations. Like Mandela, other African leaders have also become increasingly forthright about the need to combat AIDS despite cultural resistance to public discussions of the disease.
Mandela (born 1918) was an anti-apartheid activist and the leader of the African National Congress’ (ANC) armed wing. In 1962, he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. He served 27 years, many on Robben Island with other political prisoners, opponents of the apartheid regime of South Africa. Apartheid was legalized racial segregation that was enforced by the National Party government between 1948 and 1994. Following Mandela’s release from prison in February 1990, he supported reconciliation and negotiation, and helped lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy in South Africa. Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994-1999, the first South-African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. In 1993 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Not until 1990, the same year he was released from prison, did a retired Central Intelligence Agency official admit that the CIA was responsible for Mandela’s capture.
South Africa's apartheid government had designated the ANC a terrorist organization during the group's decades-long struggle against whites-only rule, and ANC members were barred from receiving U.S. visas without special permission. Despite being one of the most respected and revered people in the world, Mandela remained on the U.S. terrorism watch list until July 2008, when it took an act of Congress to remove him from this list.

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