ARTIST STATEMENT: Our world has changed drastically since people of African descent took up mental and
physical arms to fight against a power structure that was not created to protect and serve
them by virtue of their perceived status in society. The motivation to fight for basic human
rights in a country/world that was built on the sweat, bones and bloody tears of ancestors
was real and immediate. The masses understood what they were struggling against and held
strong dreams of equality for themselves and their children.
Today, many feel that the struggle is over; there is no need to fight. Many feel that we have
“arrived”, so instead of continuing to build on our communities, we feel that equality means
fleeing from our communities and not contributing to positive culture. We run from a
culture that included story‐telling and creative pursuit, in addition to intellectual ones. We
leave these things behind to pursue a somewhat soulless culture of immediate gratification
and quick sound bites to inform us how to think, how to feel about others and how to see
The role of the artist (visual or otherwise) is to evolve with the times, but always cause the
audience to think. As artists, we must continue the cultural revolution. We must celebrate
freedom fighters and pay homage to our community and educate us all. The education and
upliftment of oppressed people is not gained by suppressing and denigrating other people
and cultures; it is simply about acknowledging the beauty, strength, and culture of our
people. Using our talents and experiences to ensure we, as a body of people, do not go back
to the days when our fates were determined outside of ourselves.
We are all learners and teachers. As artists we must use our talents to educate and uplift,
and I revel in opportunities to build with fellow artists , and share with our community so we
may build and move forward positively.
Cultural Revolutionary Artists
Makeela B. Amani