Thursday, 18 July 2013

A captivating monument

On the 5th August 1962, just outside the sleepy town of Howick in the Natal midlands on the road to Johannesburg, an Austin Westminster was stopped by police. The tall man in the passenger seat dressed in a white chauffeur jacket insisted he was David Motsamayi but the police recognised his as Nelson Mandela, the most wanted men in South Africa. He spent the next 27 years in jail.

At the site of his capture, a monument has been erected to commemorate this momentous event.

The focal point of the Capture Monument is a three-dimensional sculpture by the artist Marco Cianfanelli comprising an odd assortment of 50 upright metal poles cast into cement in an ostensibly random arrangement.

Viewed from afar, they appear like charred trees standing forlorn in a burned-out plantation forest, or telephone poles clumped together for no apparent reason.

Viewed closer, from various angles, the crenulated stakes appear like prison bars, hiding well whatever meaningful message they might contain.

Then, with just a slight shift in perspective; a step (or roll) around the corner, the Monument is fully revealed...

 “I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man.” (Nelson Mandela)

prison bars
emerged a face;
we saw
the other

RIP, Nelson Mandela, 18 July 1918 - 5 December 2013

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