Exhibition “Mandela, Ícone Mundial de Reconciliação” opens on July 10 in Sao Paulo

Promoted by the Brazil Africa Institute in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the exhibition is sponsored by the São Paulo Municipal Department of Culture.

Mandela and his wife Winnie celebrate his release on February 11, 1990. Photo: Graeme Williams

Nelson Mandela is a globally recognized figure. The 27 years he spent in prison, his relentless fight against apartheid in South Africa and his election as the country’s first black president are well-known facts.

The exhibition “Mandela, Ícone Mundial de Reconciliação”, which opens at the São Paulo Cultural Center (CCSP) on July 10, seeks to reveal lesser-known aspects of his life to the public. Mandela abandoned an arranged marriage and a prestigious position in a traditional society to pursue a political career in a Westernized context. He studied arts and law and, in his youth, ran long distances and boxed.

These and other stories are presented in the 50 photographic panels of the exhibition, brought to country by the Brazil Africa Institute (IBRAF) in an exclusive partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, constituted by Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa. The traveling exhibition opened in May in Brasilia and will tour other Brazilian cities until 2025.

“In the exhibition, we see not just one side of Mandela, but multiple sides. Madiba was a complex figure, sometimes controversial, and what the exhibition reveals to us is that he was, above all, an ordinary person, with flaws, just like you and me,” says Professor João Bosco Monte, founder and president of the Brazil Africa Institute.

On display until August 30 on the floor that connects the Sérgio Milliet and Alfredo Volpi Libraries, the Children’s Reading Room, the Henfil Gibiteca and the Periodicals Sector, the exhibition has free entry and includes an educational program. In addition to guided tours, there will be a special event on July 18, when Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated.

According to the exhibition’s curator, South African Christopher Till, this is an ideal time to celebrate Mandela. “This date was established by the United Nations in 2009 to promote the idea that every person has the power to transform the world and make a difference. For me, this is Madiba’s main legacy.”

IBRAF’s partnership with the São Paulo Municipal Department of Culture extends to other areas, such as the Municipal Department of Education, the Municipal Department of International Relations and the Coordination for the Promotion of Racial Equality, through the Municipal Department of Human Rights and Citizenship.

“The teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African history in basic education in Brazil is still limited. It’s crucial to create more spaces to discuss this topic with young people. By talking about Mandela, we open the dialog to other icons that form our roots,” concludes Professor João Bosco Monte.

Exhibition: Mandela, World Icon of Reconciliation
Period: July 10th to August 30th
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 10am to 8pm. Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Venue: Centro Cultural São Paulo (Rua Vergueiro, 1000 – Liberdade)
Free admission, free classification.
Information: (85) 3268-2010 / (11) 3397-4002