Mandela: a visual memorial

On the day of his funeral, an infographic commemorates the key moments in Nelson Mandela's life as the leader of the anti-apartheid movement

Visualizing Impact
15 December 2013

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Today Nelson Mandela’s funeral will be held in his childhood village of Qunu, South Africa. To commemorate the occasion, this visual reflects on a man who, despite tremendous adversity, played an incomparably important role in the struggle for freedom and human dignity worldwide.

Mandela’s so-called “long walk to freedom” was never an easy one. It spanned most of his 95-year life, during which he was simultaneously vilified and exalted. Although his 27 years in prison are in no way forgotten, we often fail to remember that during those decades, and for many years after, Mandela was also seen by members of the international community as a radical.

Even in 1964, at that point a figure on terrorist watch lists from South Africa to the United States, Mandela believed that history would side with the African National Congress’ convictions. He was vindicated 29 years later, when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.

Thanks to Visualizing Impact (VI) for allowing us to reproduce this infographic.

VI’s new graphic moves from more conventional data visualization to blend advertising and data design techniques. Adopting a magazine cover style, VI has re-drawn the iconic photo of Mandela taken for the cover of Mac Maharaj’s “Mandela: An Authorized Portrait”.  The illustration is then overlaid with poignant, controversial moments in Mandela’s history. 

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