The Power of Words Happening
Nabil Elderkin, Andrew van der Westhuyzen, Gregory Stern
Times Square Advertising Coalition, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, Mont Blanc
In commemoration of Nelson Mandela's upcoming 95th birthday, his peaceful vision was celebrated at the Crossroads of the World on Friday, April 19, 2013, from 11:15 pm to midnight with a showing of The Power of Words, a video installation featuring his dynamic speeches made exclusively for Times Square’s billboards. Mandela’s grandsons Kweku Mandela and Ndaba Mandela attended the celebration and Ivan & Alyosha performed live. The happening was a collaboration between Times Square Arts, Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC), the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and Montblanc, as was the video's creation for April's Midnight Moment. It's April tenure coincided with National Poetry Month.
The Power of Words is a three-minute film made up of the writings of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela's words were edited from numerous speeches and then were animated to collide, float, pour, and burst onto Times Square’s screens through a dramatic, cosmic blue background. The video was a collaboration by Nabil Elderkin, Andrew van der Westhuyzen, and Gregory Stern. The Power of Words is intended by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and TFI to inspire filmmakers to highlight the enduring resonance of Nelson Mandela's words and sentiments with today's audiences and for generations to come. Throughout 2013, the collaborative team behind The Power of Words, supported by Montblanc, produced a series of original short films based on the most compelling passages penned by Nelson Mandela.
In honor of Mandela and his powerful ability to reach and inspire audiences, Times Square Arts invited participants to bring favorite words of inspiration (written on paper) to the gathering. They were encouraged to exchange these words with their neighbors and/or to donate them to Times Square Arts to be featured in its social media throughout the remainder of April 2013.
Audience gathered at the Red Steps on Duffy Square, Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets.