Evolution of Man at Standing Rock


Five black flags raised at Standing Rock
Film and photographic documentation

In 2016, Evolution of Man unfurled with a new, global urgency. As the Paris accord disintegrated, the world reached a decisive fork in the road. Protesters at Standing Rock became a powerful reminder of the urgency of present decisions and future consequences.

In November 2016, the Evolution of Man flags were hoisted at the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, bringing together two apparently disparate worlds in one essential fight. The stark warning found in the work was always intended to confront issues of and in the "real" world.

This was a chance to focus the world’s attention on a number of urgent global issues – of environmental protection and the rights of indigenous peoples and cultures worldwide. We urgently need to work together, across nations and religions, to find alternatives to unregulated capitalism and imperialism.
Ahmed Mater

Hoisting the Flag at Standing Rock

How the work made its way into the world, in a gesture of global solidarity.

A CULTURUNNERS film, in partnership with the Guardian

Watch the film
Standing Rock Ahmed mater DSC1052


Ahmed began these works when working as a doctor as Aseer Central Hospital, where he would deal with X Rays every day. Taking the visual language of medicine, Evolution of Man becomes a diagnosis for Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil.

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