Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela, el ex presidente sudafricano y Premio Nobel de la Paz, a sus 88 años, fue premiado con el galardón titulado “Embajador de la Conciencia 2006″, por Amnistía Internacional, una de las organizaciones más reconocidas a nivel mundial.

El premio fue creado bajo la inspiración que trajo un poema de Seamus Heaney, poeta Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1995, llamado “From the Republic of Conscience” (“Desde la República de la Conciencia”), el cual pueden encontrar más abajo.

Este premio enfoca en la labor de la organización asociándola con la vida, el ejemplo personal y el trabajo de sus embajadores.

La ceremonia donde Mandela recibirá el premio, se realizará el próximo 1 de noviembre en Johannesburgo. Una compatriota será la encargada de dárselo en mano, la escritora sudafricana y Premio Nobel de Literatura Nadine Gordimer.

Esta distinción ha sido entregada anteriormente a Václav Havel (ex presidente checo), a Hilda Morales Trujillo (miembro de la Oficina Nacional de Mujeres y de la Red contra la Violencia Hacia las Mujeres), a Mary Robinson (ex presidenta de Irlanda) y a la banda de rock U2. [Más información]

From the Republic of Conscience

I

When I landed in the republic of conscience
it was so noiseless when the engines stopped
I could hear a curlew high above the runway
At immigration, the clerk was an old man
who produced a wallet from his homespun coat
and showed me a photograph of my grandfather
The woman in customs asked me to declare
the words of our traditional cures and charms
to heal dumbness and avert the evil eye
No porters. No interpreter. No taxi.
You carried your own burden and very soon
your symptoms of creeping privilege disappeared

II

Fog is a dreaded omen there, but lightning
spells universal good and parents hang
swaddled infants in trees during thunder storms
Salt is their precious mineral. And seashells
are held to the ear during births and funerals.
The base of all inks and pigments is seawater
Their sacred symbol is a stylized boat
The sail is an ear, the mast a sloping pen,
The hull a mouth-shape, the keel an open eye.
At their inauguration, public leaders
must swear to uphold unwritten law and weep
to atone for their presumption to hold office
and to affirm their faith that all life sprang
from salt in tears which the sky-god wept
after he dreamt his solitude was endless

III

I came back from that frugal republic
with my two arms the one length, the customs woman
having insisted my allowance was myself
The old man rose and gazed into my face
and said that was official recognition
that I was now a dual citizen
He therefore desired me when I got home
to consider myself a representative
and to speak on their behalf in my own tongue
Their embassies, he said, were everywhere
but operated independently
and no ambassador would ever be relieved.