A student interview on the current state of political artwork and illustration in the Southwest-Asian region.
When I was speaking about our group’s work two summers ago at the Socialism Conference in Oakland, California, I found myself talking with a former member of the Black Panther Party. I asked him how he persevered after watching his comrades either assassinated, emprisoned, or exiled. He replied that the way he looks at it, he might not see change in his lifetime, but he will have passed the torch. It’s a different way of looking at things. This is similar to what we hear from various local activists when they say that “existence is resistance”; we have to meld our life with our activism, it can’t be something separate, an “awareness campaign” that we just up and do, and then we return to our day-to-day. So I do not look for immediate effect, but instead see how people engage with the work, react to it, and build from it. We critique our own efforts, learn from our mistakes, and build from there as well.