Transform This: iconic Johnny Cash photo used to protest Saskatchewan university cuts

0 Posted by - April 30, 2014 - Blog, Design, Sound, Visual art

Things may soon be looking grim for many students and faculty at the University of Saskatchewan.

The Saskatoon-based institution is looking to slash up to $25 million from its operating budget. In a restructuring process the administration has branded TransformUS, the UofS is currently determining “university priorities”, after which they plan to “eliminate or reduce programs or services which rank as having lower priority”.

Many members of the university community have been vocal in their opposition to the planned cuts, arguing that the process lacks transparency and damages the traditional role of a post-secondary institution. Two open letters express concern that the university will soon be focused almost exclusively on churning out workers, largely abandoning the values of culture, knowledge and academic freedom.

Cash: Transform This

With their thoughts going largely ignored by the administration, some community members have decided to express how they feel in a new campaign using an iconic image of Johnny Cash.

We’ve all seen the image: Johnny Cash on stage at his 1969 San Quentin State Prison gig, flipping the bird to the camera as photographer Jim Marshall asks him to “do a shot for the warden.” It’s a classic anti-authoritarian moment in the history of protest art.

Turning the UofS slogan on its head, the campaign has produced posters and social media images that read Transform This alongside Cash’s outstretched finger.

It may be crude, but it conveys their sentiments without any room for misinterpretation.

You can download the Transform This materials using the links below:

Poster: Letter Size
Poster: Legal Size
Facebook Cover Image
Social Media Profile Photo

Original Johnny Cash photo by Jim Marshall.

Leave a reply