The Story of Nelson Mandela and Forgiveness Portrayed in Art
The Story of Nelson Mandela was above all a man of forgiveness. The esteemed sand animation artist Joe Castillo has paid tribute to The Story of Nelson Mandela with a video of Mr. Castillo’s sand art. Joe Castillo uses a light table, sand, and music to tell a story. He also conveys a mood and a feeling along with this fluid type of storytelling. The art has a language all its own.
The artist of the sand art animation, Joe Castillo, was recently on the NBC television show, America’s Got Talent, where he was a finalist. He is also a best-selling author.
Nelson Mandela, 18 July, 1918, to 5 December, 2013, was a South African philanthropist, anti-apartheid revolutionary, and politician. He was imprisoned for 27 years for his anti-apartheid activities; upon his release, he gave a speech in which he avowed his commitment to reconciliation and peace. He went on to become South Africa’s President. The Story of Nelson Mandela has come to represent the epitome of forgiveness to many people.
This particular piece of sand animation starts out with what appears to be a scribble of dark sand, perhaps a tree, on what looks like a tree trunk but is soon seen to be a person’s arm. The music is African and is vaguely patriotic with drums in the background. We see Mandela’s birth and death years. All of Africa is included in the video by showing the shape of the continent. Then what most people perhaps think of as the typical African is seen with hoop earrings and a robe flowing over their shoulder. A tear flowing down the face is used to show the sorrow of Africa. The music has changed to a warmer typical chant type music vaguely like Paul Simon’s music on his Graceland album. A bird, a dove of peace with an olive branch, is used to illustrate the desire to forgive and reconcile. The Story of Nelson Mandela is then shown waving as he typically was, cheery and loving no matter what because he was above the hate, political maneuvering, and bigotry that caused his imprisonment.
This sand animation represents the forgiveness that is available to all people if they only open their hearts to it. Nelson Mandela endured more than many people are asked to, but he kept his spirit and love for humanity no matter what was thrown at him. He had been imprisoned in a small cell and verbally and physically harassed by prison wardens, but he chose to forgive. While working in a prison lime quarry his eyesight was permanently impaired, but Nelson Mandela chose to forgive. He actually studied other religions and languages while in prison, choosing to make use of the time wisely instead of brooding about how life had treated him unfairly. He contracted tuberculosis because of the damp conditions of his cell, but he chose to forgive. We can all learn a lesson from this beautiful video and from Nelson Mandela’s life.