Today, July 18th, is Nelson Mandela International Day, designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009. To celebrate, read about Mandela and his influence in a 2014 dossier in boundary2. “Intervention/Mandela’s Reflections” features responses to Mandela as a political figure from contributors around the globe and from different generations.
From Anthony Bogues’s preface to the section:
Very few political figures in the late twentieth century evoked hope in the way that Nelson Mandela did… The personal and political vignettes represented in this dossier are a very modest attempt to think about the man and his time. They range from poetry to explicit political reflections on this figure. The collection ends with a poignant piece from a young person who, told about our efforts, was moved to write and send us her pages. While this dossier does not cover everything, two things are clear. First, that Mandela was an iconic figure in the world. We are aware how power re-creates and attempts to absorb such figures, gutting them of their radical meaning. This has happened, and continues to happen, with Mandela. But, second, in our contemporary moment, current struggles are still deeply linked to the struggle for which he spent twenty-odd years in prison—the struggle to be treated with dignity and equality as a human being. It is the latter which will shape the complex legacy he left behind.
Read the entire dossier, made freely available.