Konseptuele kunstenaar Willem Boshoff se geheime briewe aan Nelson Mandela
Swanepoel, M.C. [Rita]
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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (born 1918) is all over the world respected as a political freedom icon, and a beloved leader affectionately known as Madiba. He served 27 years in prison on Robben Island, in Pollsmoor and Victor Verster prison after he and other ANC resistance leaders were found guilty of high treason against the former apartheid regime during the Rivonia trials in 1964. They were sentenced to life-long imprisonment. Mandela was released in 1990. In 1994 he became the first democratically elected president (1994-1999) of South-Africa. The problem statement for this article is centred around two questions: Firstly, how does the South-African conceptual artist Willem Boshoff (born 1951) in his installation Secret Letters (2003) “tell” Mandela what happened in the world from 1964 to 1990, the time that he spent in prison, and secondly, how does the artist succeed in portraying a visual representation of the abstract notion of lonliness during Mandela’s imprisonment. Postcolonial critique forms the theoretical framework of this article with a focus on the influence of the race concept and the development of the idea of Christianity during the apartheid era. The roots of both of these concepts can be found in British colonialism in South Africa.
- Faculty of Humanities