The Fine Arts Library was recently gifted a work by former Elam student Shahriar Asdollah-Zadeh entitled ‘Emory Douglas (Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, visiting New Zealand): ‘Change is Inevitable’. Asdollah-Zadeh’s artist statment is included below.
Photograph taken with 5 by 4" black and white film. I took this photograph in August/September 2009 when Emory Douglas was visiting the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, New Zealand.I photographed Emory Douglas during his visit to New Zealand, where he came to meet fellow political artists and pass on his knowledge about art and protest. His visit was a very significant and historic event. Emory is holding a sign which he and I both chose together. The sign 'Change is Inevitable' is meant to be left open for interpretation depending on the viewer. I personally see it as a comment on the current state of the political world, its instabilities, and how the world needs social change in all forms. Emory is an iconic figure, and the problems and themes he addressed through his art have not gone away but have only evolved. Now more than ever the need for change is necessary on a universal scale.
Emory Douglas worked as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party in the USA from 1967 until the Party disbanded in the 1980s. His graphic art was featured in most issues of the newspaper The Black Panther (which had a peak circulation of 139,000 per week in 1970) and has become an iconic representation of the struggles of the Party during the 1960s and 70s.
This work is on permanent display in the Fine Arts Library.
Fine Arts Library