Saturday, December 7, 2013

Turnley on Mandela

I've spent the morning watching video segments about Mandela's passing.  This one, an interview with Pulitzer Prize winning photographer David Turnley who spent 28 years photographing South Africa's struggle with apartheid, stands out among them all. 

A must read and see tribute from David Turnley via Time
The door opens and in walks Nelson Mandela. He greets each person in the room, with the charm and confidence of someone who has never been gone. 
Madiba is tall and in unbelievable shape. His presence is so powerful. He gives everyone a bear hug. Smiles stretch across our faces. And Archbishop Tutu clings a glass with a spoon. Directly in front of Madiba, the crowd outside is frantic with excitement, unaware that Madiba is with us. Archbishop Tutu looks into Nelson’s eyes, and with tears streaming down his face, says, “I have to tell you what you have meant to my life….” And then each person in the room follows. Madiba stands proudly receiving each heartfelt word. It is as if you can palpably see the dignity of Nelson Mandela, of each second of 27 years, proudly and clearly contained to be ready for this moment. And then, he looks at all of us. 
“You will have to forgive me. I have something I have to take care of.” He proceeds to walk to the window, stepping out onto the balcony to address his South African people, and the world, for the first time in almost three decades. As the sun sets, the Mandela family and friends stand at the window, everyone’s fists raised in the air, tears streaming down their cheeks as the crowd greets their leader with the African National Anthem Nikosi Sikelela. He finishes his speech with the same words that he spoke at the end of the treason trial that sent him to prison for life in 1964.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself 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 live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

1 comment:

Anita said...

The photos are so powerful. I could tell that the photographer is bonafide,someone who was "feeling and knowing" what he was shooting.

I'm feeling that I want to know more about Mandela. Strange how death can sometimes make us more important than we were in life.


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