The Power of The Collective

The Power of The Collective

April 20, 2015

Quivertree Publications

“We must believe with conviction – as have Madiba and I throughout our lives – in a brighter future for South Africa; in the capacity of its people to create positive change; and in the extraordinary power of collective effort.” … Continued

“We must believe with conviction – as have Madiba and I throughout our lives – in a brighter future for South Africa; in the capacity of its people to create positive change; and in the extraordinary power of collective effort.” – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

21 Icons South Africa is a collection of candid interviews and photographs of some of South Africa’s most inspiring people in one volume. It may seem like an obvious idea for a book in retrospect, but no one has been quite so successful at gathering the stories and intimate portraits of so many of South Africa’s moral stalwarts and brain trust as has Adrian Steirn and Harriet Prattern.

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21 Icons is more than just a book. It’s a project that combines portraits, short films, behind-the-scenes photography, written narrative and a feature-length documentary. The book is an integral part of this unique concept and was unsurprisingly inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela. After witnessing two children playing the age old game of Marco Polo, but substituting the name with Nelson Mandela, Adrian was led to wonder how many icons in the world had passed by unnoticed? Thus the 21 Icons project was born from a need to celebrate iconic people while they are still living, with the ultimate goal of showing the next generation of socially conscious citizens the way forward, inspiring, teaching and reminding us all of our humanity.

Both Harriet Prattern and Archbishop Desmond Tutu make mention of the power of the collective in their introductions. As the Archbishop writes in the book – “He [Mandela] perfectly understood that people are dependent on other people in order for individuals and society to prosper; that we are people through other people.”

(Lillian Cingo is shown in the feature image at the head of this blog post).

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21-icons_cover21 Icons South Africa is available from all good bookstores. Click here for more details.

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