In 2013 the world mourned the passing of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, one of its most revered champions of human rights. Mandela provided a moral compass for how we treat each other, how we lead our own lives, and how we need to continue to strive for a just, fair, nonracial, and democratic society. Artists around the world have long made quilts in tribute to Mandela and in support of and advocacy for the principles to which he was devoted. But it is for South Africans and African Americans that making quilts in tribute to Mandela has had special meaning. Conscience of the Human Spirit, which accompanies an exhibition by the same name, features quilts made after Mandela’s death—diverse and powerful pieces reflect the ways in which this remarkable man touched individual lives, changed a nation, and served as the conscience of the human spirit for individuals around the world.
This book is a collaborative project of the Michigan State University Museum, Women of Color Quilters Network, and South African quilt artists.