Mandela Street in Camden has gained a new mural of the man himself.
The 18 July 2017 marks 99 years since Nelson Mandela was born. Since 2009, the former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner’s birthday has been celebrated as Mandela Day – a reminder of his work and message. This year, London gained a permanent reminder of the activist.
Sporting one of his trademark floral shirts, the South African revolutionary blends in with the surrounding brickwork and foliage of Mandela Street (renamed after him in 1985), although you can’t miss that huge grin spread all over his face.
Painted in July 2017 over 12 days by five artists, the Global Street Art mural consists of 150 cans of spray paint, plus 40 litres of liquid paint. It marks what would have been the great politician’s 99th birthday.
The painting’s location is particularly pertinent given its location. Mandela Street is today home to pretty mews houses and bustling fashion studios.
But during the 1960s the exiled Anti-Apartheid Movement had its headquarters in the unassuming backwater of Camden Town, then called Selous Street.
It was later renamed Mandela Street in November 1985 by Camden Council – at a time when Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island and Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative government were still denouncing the African National Congress as terrorists.
Nelson Mandela himself visited Camden and his street in 2003 but now he has found a permanent home on the street in the form of a beautiful mural.