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Showing posts from October, 2016

"A terrorist cannot travel"

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The UN celebrated its anniversary this week and with it the annual AHEM!! whether it is about time to vet the UN Human Rights Council of certain of its member states. The suggested replacements, though, are not necessarily of another metal. The candidacy of Malaysia for instance ought to be rejected as long as this is in essence the situation of the Malaysian cartoonists:



Zunar has been banned from traveling abroad, having had his passport withdrawn at the airport while about to fly to Singapore to participate in a forum. He has traveled widely since an indictment against him last year for nine tweets on the very same evening criticizing the fabricated conviction of an opposition leader. If convicted himself, Zunar may be sentenced to 43 years of imprisonment.

Zunar has been present in court whenever summoned and would have had every intention of being so too at November 22, when the "case" is allegedly to take off. There is consequently no acceptable reason for withdrawing …

When No Action is Left To Us

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In times of infinite grief, we discover the grandeur of cartooning right before us.

The present cartoons by Angel Boligán would be at home in a cathedral of Giottos or Caravaggios to be seen by centuries of generations at a respectful distance, and possibly dimly lit through flickering lights, they would be towering before us on the struggle of life of mankind.

Angels turning in mid air, while forcing death to reach beyond itself. All the while the human in between is balancing the line of near-impossibility. Boligán always turns his figures away from our point of view, underlining the scale of the subject even when the picture plane is right before us.

The battle of life so that our loved ones may recover from devastating illness, and yet it may turn out not to suffice. Our human form is forced inside out when the unimaginable becomes reality. Ripped out and obstructed from action by those very heartstrings with which we yearn to remain connected.

Instead we remain tied to the pole …

The First Subject

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Note the pawn to the right of the chessboard. The lowliest of items in value as in form imaginable.

The pawn is the one, which is first eliminated during a game of chess and consequently of least interest, when it comes to deciding its shape.

That very point has made the pawn an object of aesthetic curiosity to Riber Hansson. Over the years he has returned to the strangeness of that non-existent existence. He has carved it in the solidity of wood and the blurred outlines of the etching. But first and last his ponderings have been made with a pen in hand.


The other pieces on the chessboard each has a suggestive name, which has decided its shape: the knight, the tower, the king. The pawn is denominated as the one without a face. It is the nonfigurative one.

The pawn does have a rounded top suggestive of a head, as an attempt at a giving it life. The top is resting on a heavy two-layered bottom to give it some height and grounding. Let us return to the first pawn above. Each layer opens …

"Out to listen"

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Two giants of cartooning, Jonathan Shapiro alias Zapiro and Riber Hansson.

Two cartoonists ever curious, open-minded and intellectuals of the world.

This is crucial in that their art is reflective of what they embody. Their ever curious and critical disposition, their listening in on the world, define how they tune their art.

Riber Hansson has reflected on the element of a moral obligation to their working process. That with freedom of speech comes the responsibility to take in before speaking. With freedom of speech there is potentially many levels of information at hand to be evaluated critically and hence it is not just our duty to speak, but to speak from a basis of knowledge and observation.

This is strangely controversial right now in countries with a solid freedom of speech. Obligations of any kind are seen as way of diminishing the freedom on hand, especially as a regression back to the days when only a few were allowed to speak out. A sort of fabricated fight then takes plac…

A Marriage Proposal

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Nadia Khiari proved her carat yet again today showing us how verbal violence must be met. Her reaction was instant, blowing up the logic of a verbal rapist into his own face, undressing the issue of what it is all about: Rape is violence, full stop. 
Visualized in three confrontational, baton-armed, salivating cats of which the middle one is of a considerable solidity:
"A TV "moderator" told a child victim of rape to marry her rapist. Mr. "Moderator", I have a couple of friends, who would love to marry you. This minute".




"Let us make us slaves of truth"

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- as Dr. Denis Mukwege declared; the outstanding surgeon specializing in treating women, who has been gang raped by militia groups in DR Congo. Dr. Mukwege is at once a scientist, a diplomat and an activist speaking up against sexual violence in conflict, for which he received the Sakharov Prize in 2014.




Dr. Mukwege was a keynote speaker at the Peace Conference 2016 organized by The Yennenga Progress, this year celebrating the 250th anniversary of free speech in Sweden.


Speaking in active verbs, Dr. Mukwege underlined the need for change. Rape undermines the entire social structure, when families are deliberately torn apart. To which he paraphrased the Gospel according to John:

"Know the truth and the truth will set us free. Free from war. Free from rape. And the list is endless. Let us make us slaves of truth, then we shall be free."



The truth. A fundamental notion of cartooning too as defined by the Danish satirical magazine Corsarenwhen attacked in 1842:
Corsaren never en…

On Verbal Violence

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With social media we have seen a specific type of commentators gaining ground: the trolls. They have always been around on a full moon, only now they are screened from meeting whomever they are attacking online. Verbal violence has consequently become decidedly easy.

Due to the freedom of speech, they have of course a fundamental right to speak. This is a fact with which we cannot and shall not interfere.

But - BUT - sometimes verbal violence is exactly what it seems and we have to recognize it for what it is. Marilena Nardi has visualized it for us, never again to be mistaken for anything other.

This is the image for our inner eye the next time we are met with it.

Note the swollen red lid under the one eye. As Marilena Nardi points out, it is not just a beast within, but one that has been restrained till now. We must acknowledge the fact that no dialogue come from comments of the kind below, nor was dialogue ever intended.

This is bile. It is nothing but.






The cartoon shown is courte…

That One Line

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Every time a child is dug out alive in the devastation of Aleppo, we are all as grateful as the White Helmet holding the child. For one instant a tiny light is lit in the midst of massacre. 
However. What we have before us is proof of the cartoonist seeing the full picture. Vasco Gargalo has added one line. 
This is the visualization of hell.



The cartoon shown is courtesy of Vasco Gargalo and must not be reproduced without his permission.


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