Bart Luirink

18 July 2016 | Celebrating #MandelaDay with reflection, activism and solidarity

Only 6 days to go! The 2016 Mandela Day will be a worldwide commemoration of the life and achievements of one of the biggest heroes of our time. Nelson Mandela has an overwhelming presence in the ZAM offices. His picture, the art pieces inspired by Mandela, memorabilia and some, not always tasteful, merchandising products are all over over the place. But foremost he is in our thoughts. What is today's meaning of the struggle he fought together with so many less known comrades? How does his work inspire our fights for freedom, against white supremacy and oppression?

I listened to Barack Obama's speech at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in December 2013 in Johannesburg. With Baton Rouge and Juba, Bulawayo and Dallas in mind these are very meaningful words for all who seek engagement with causes worth fighting for. 'He not only learned us the power of action but also the power of ideas, the power of reason. (…) He disciplined his anger to build an organisation, for many people to stand up. (… ) There are leaders who are claiming solidarity with Mandela's struggle but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. (…) Reconciliation is not about forgetting but confronting the past.' And so on. Watch this speech here:

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela

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