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Showing posts from March, 2016

"Dr Karadzic I suppose?"

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He b..... appealed
Then again, he would. The Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of indictments of genocide, extinction and crime against humanity at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia yesterday. He was convicted to 40 years of imprisonment.
To paraphrase from the Judgement Summary Karadzic was "at the apex of political, governmental, and military structures and able to use his power and influence" and was for one a "central figure in disseminating propaganda" of which his "rhetoric was used to engender fear and hatred of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats and had the effect of exacerbating ethnic divisions and tensions".
Karadzic was in short not the dirty hands. He encouraged, facilitated and authorized what took place as part of the "joint criminal enterprise".
Active verbs of criminal intent acted out. Riber Hansson drew the verdict within Karadzic's very person yesterday; the realization …

13 years and a day

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Does a cartoon have it in it to respond to an attack by IS / Daesh?

Such was certain responses to widely circulated cartoons on the social media following yesterday's bombs in Bruxelles. Surely more bombs are the answer here???

To which the answer is: Cartoons are very much an appropriate response. I am not saying the response, because contrary to the outlook of the bombing-lustful, there is no one answer to anything. On the contrary, cartoons pose a powerful spectrum of responses in that they call together and mourn, while they reflect and bring in the greater picture daring to take critical stances at a time, when the mood is delicate.

One of the most well-spoken voices the past 24 hours have been Khalid Wad Albaih and it so happens that this too was the week of the 13th anniversary of the war on Iraq, which nurtured the organization of IS.

There is a bodily experience to our language, absorbed and transformed through the ages into lettering.




Before us is such a transformation …

Cartoon of the Year 2016

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A new generation of Gonzo journalism: Stine Spedsbjerg

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Cartoonist of the Year and recipient of this year's honorary award of Danish Cartoonists: The Pentel Award / Pentel-prisen was announced today: Stine Spedsbjerg

Stine Spedsbjerg (born 1980) is a young and gorgeous Woody Allen of cartooning, placing herself at the center of her drawings to reflect on what the world is made of and doing so with deceptively simple lines and yet her drawings are dense with tactile linework - dotting, jagging, ticklish and vibrating with sudden openings to another realm of warm furry magic.

Oh, and she is presently chairing the Danish Council of Comics /Dansk Tegneserieråd.

But without further ado let us go to today's press release, English translation in italics below:




"”Årets bladtegner åbner en ny fløj for vores fag og gør det med kæmpestor gennemslagskraft,” siger formand for Danske Bladtegnere Lars Refn om årets modtager af Danske Bladtegneres hæderspris, Pentel-prisen.
Offentliggørelsen af modtageren af bladtegnernes hæderspris foregik …

The anniversary which ought not have been

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If anyone should still be in doubt about the necessity of the Syrians to demand dignity five years ago today, the reaction from Assad then as now tells us the full story.

In fact, in reading the interview by Charlie Hebdo of Tarek Alghorani six months into the revolution (done anonymously since he was still in the country), I cannot but equate the Sednaya prison with that of the lack of right to define the terms of one's own life of the people outside of it too.

It abided to all aspects of their situation from deprivation (starving of food and all material needs) to being tortured at the merest hint of having a personal presence that caught the eye of the prison guards. The right to define any of this never belonged to the prisoners themselves. Certain well-calculated manouvers of the prison guards furthermore put the young prisoners in a situation in which they found themselves defending Islam and paved their way to join IS.

In 2008 it came to a prisoner revolt at the Sednaya pr…

The Basics of Human Life

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This is what happens when the British are in town. The young immediately take from their example, incorporating just about every detail of what was discussed at the master class presided by cartooning masters Steve Bell and Martin Rowson for their Danish colleagues. Fur cup? The explanation is in the pronunciation, it transforms into a four-letter word, when spoken out loud.


To declare fuck you to the potentates of our day, political and otherwise, is our job, in the words of Martin Rowson: "It stops us from going mad at what they do".

As it happens, said potentates have the very same bodily functions as everybody else and for 300+ years the British cartoonists have been deflating those egos, exposing their most basic needs all over the pages, all the more forcibly so since they have so much to empty themselves of:
"Like us they shit. Those who think they are better than us are taken down. Besides shitting is fun".
Note, how far we are from the question of negativ…

"To ridicule you have been"

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Pages for a new History of Political Cartooning in Denmark 





There is nothing like officiating the funeral of one's political adversaries, making certain that no one misses how they have just unmasked their actual intentions and as such this is the essence of what cartoon art can and does.

Augustforeningen (i.e. The August Society) consisted of a circle of landowners, titled and otherwise and businessmen, objecting to the 1864-war lost to Germany. So was the weekly Pjerrot; they differed however deeply on the question of popular rule. Who gets to have a say, should it be each man his voice or a rule based on how one was settled in life? A revision of the constitution was underway and a matter of intense debate at this time, when the vote was still reserved the free being defined as the economically independent male.

When Augustforeningen chose not to make a special occasion of Constitution Day in 1865, they seemed to have exposed their motif of existence as that of power and not of…

Peter Klæstrup

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Pages for a new History of Political Cartooning in Denmark 



Peter Klæstrup (1820-1882) was the cartoonist of the satirical weeklies Corsaren, Folkets Nisse and Pjerrot, of which he first drew for Corsaren in 1841. Klæstrup was in other words the first cartoonist in Denmark.
Art history has a tendency to focus on the artists, who happened to do a few funny sketches on the side of stupid contemporaries. Artists of the common mold have careers more easily defined as a whole and it is so much easier to write about them. Klæstrup was consequently next to written out of history
He does not suit coffee-table art books. He is sharp, he is different and he has found two great admirers in us. Klæstrup graduated from the Royal Academy, but the very same year, being only 21 years old, he began working for the new critical weekly Corsaren.

Corsaren was inspired by Le Charivari in Paris and since the source of inspiration had drawings for maximum effect, so did Corsaren one year into the weekly'…

The Personification of the WHY

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Pages for a new History of Political Cartooning in Denmark 


Lately, the cartoonist Erik Petri and I have been seen running through town suddenly stopping and nodding "Oh, indeed" at the sight of buildings we have seen always only just know realizing ties to personalities spanning three centuries in small-town Copenhagen.

As it happens, Erik and I are rewriting the history of Danish cartoon art.

It came about as a coincidence a few weeks ago. One discovery led to wondering how that fitted into the cartooning story line as we knew it - which it did not - and now we are going through threads of well-worn explanations, cutting them up and testing new ones.

First and foremost it is about time a truism was dissolved following Søren Kierkegaard as drawn by Peter Klæstrup in Corsaren 1846 on the uneven length of the philosopher's trousers. Kierkegaard was made a figure of public ridicule, leading to the religious phase of his writing and his withdrawing to a life in near isolati…
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