In order to leverage President Mandela’s global stature as the preeminent Human Rights icon, and the cultural currency that already exists with the universally recognized AIDS ribbon, DCC uses barbed wire from the notorious prison on Robben Island where President Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years as inspiration to create the Universal Human Rights logo.
“I thought it would be poignant to use barbed wire which is understood to be a symbol of oppression, and literally twist it into a shape of hope. It was gratifying that President Mandela embraced it.” –David Clark
The barbed wire pin is publicly displayed for the first time in Cape Town by President Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and Archbishop Tutu on December 6, 2002 at a VIP Gala hosted by President Mandela and David Clark. Event supporters included President Clinton, Bono, The Edge, Naomi Campbell and Sir Richard Branson. President Mandela was also photographed by renowned photographer David Rose displaying the Universal Human Rights pin the following day at his home in Cape Town.
The Universal Human Rights logo created by David Clark was designed by artist Elliott Arkin.