Features and Stories

Mandela Quotes Featured on Billboards at Time Square

Mandela Quotes Featured on Billboards at Time Square
Bernadine Racoma

Inspirational words from Nelson Mandela will be shown across the many electronic screens that adorn Times Square in New York City. Texts from Mandela’s speeches are put together and presented on a stunning cosmic blue background. This project highlights the impact of Mandela’s words and his global influence that transcends time, race, and generations.

This latest tribute to the former President of South Africa and leader of the anti-apartheid movement is in celebration of Mandela’s upcoming birthday. Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Transkei, South Africa. He is turning 95 this year.

“The Power of Words”

This three-minute installation, called “The Power of Words” is approved by Mandela himself. Every April at 11:57 pm until midnight this short video features quotes from Nelson Mandela’s speeches. “The Power of Words” will be displayed on select screens every night for the month of April. Quotes from Mandela now dominate the billboards installed at Times Square for a few minutes before midnight every night.

Times Square is known for the very stunning visual displays. Every night it is transformed into a digital art bonanza when the billboards and certain newsstands come alive. New Yorkers and tourists alike will see the special program on 15 of the largest screens in this landmark located in the city. In order to signal the start of the presentation, a countdown is initiated and the show starts at 11:57 every night.

A message of peace

The short presentation that clearly expresses the message of peace from this global icon and visionary is just a preview of a bigger project that bears the same name. The bigger project includes five short films that interpret the words of Nelson Mandela who has inspired millions of human beings not just in his country but from around the world. Four more filmmakers will be involved in the creation of these short films in order to present Mandela’s teachings to this generation.

An online video will also be in production soon to be spearheaded by the Tribeca Film Institute in order for the message of “The Power of Words” to reach more people around the world.

An important collaboration

This project is the collaboration between Times Square Arts, the Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC), the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI). The Tribeca Film Institute is an arts organization was founded by Robert DeNiro, director and Academy Award winning Hollywood actor. Montblanc is the primary sponsor of the project.

The collaboration also involves the general public when the invitation for their personal favorite Mandela quotes was opened to everyone. Those who have anything to share can send their quotes over to Midnight Moment which is a digital gallery.

Reminders of our humanity

Ndba and Kweku Mandela, grandsons of Mandela collaborated with Nabil Elderkin (director), Gregory Stern and Andrew van der Westhuyzen (animator) in putting together the material that was used for the installation. According to “The Power of Words” will remind people of their humanity. Cousins Ndba and Kweku are co-founders of the African Rising Foundation. They held a special screening of the project in April 19 with De Niro in attendance.

Photo Credit: Nelson Mandela

Comment Below

More in Features and Stories


Turns Out Cats Domesticated Themselves–But of Course They Did

Brian OasterJune 20, 2017
Chatbot Technology Improving

Revolutionary Chatbot to Replace Lawyers?

Denise RecaldeApril 19, 2017

To Support LGBTQ Peace, Dutch Men Are Holding Hands

Denise RecaldeApril 11, 2017

“For Want of a Comma,” U.S. Company Must Shell Out Millions to Drivers

Denise RecaldeMarch 30, 2017

Researchers Unveil 400,000-Year-Old Human Fossil

Denise RecaldeMarch 15, 2017

Sikh Officers in NYPD Allowed to Wear Blue Turbans with Badges

Bernadine RacomaDecember 30, 2016

John and Annie Glenn, Heroes in their Own Right

Bernadine RacomaDecember 9, 2016

In-Orbit Astronauts to Enjoy Thanksgiving in Space

Denise RecaldeNovember 24, 2016
Maryam Mirzakhani

First Female Winner of the Fields Medal is an Iranian Mathematician

Bernadine RacomaAugust 13, 2014