Showing posts from December, 2018

Cartoonist Portrait of the Year

Zunar can blow on his smoking gun to mark a job damn well done.

In truth, the cartoon above is three years old. Cartoonists do not waste time drawing themselves once their mission is accomplished. The one above was a distillation of his hitherto most important self-portrait, the one to the right of here.

This too is not so much of his person as of his mission. It was a catalog of the number of charges with no basis in the constitution, formulated to lock up those critical of the Malaysian government. Yet, Zunar kept drawing and the cartoon is a cartoon on his compositional technique: Placing the protagonist as the main object on the picture frame, while painting with the only bodily movement left to him. She being drawn is the wife of the then prime minister and co- if not the major player in their corruption scheme.

She may be a composition on his paper, but he is drawing the truth of her being, seeing as we all do Rosmah Mansor yelling at the bottom plane: Charge him!

His weapon of…


The present words are thoughts on a book two months published or nearly so. It is the first collection of the cartoons by Khalid Albaih stemming from the days of Occupy till the present and it has been interesting to note the first reactions from holding almost a kilo of them within that one cover.

The feedback has focused on the stark meeting with Khalid's line, all the more present from being seen on a solid page. Stark black on a white page no less. There is every sense of being met on each page with an onslaught of a clear idea transformed into line.

The stark onslaught has postponed seeing the wider frame of their setting, and since that what was our favourite part of the road to the book, I cannot wait any longer to write a few words about it.

It felt like an revelation seeing the cartoons fall into their natural place as in a mosaic finally being laid. A mosaic just waiting to be detected in its entirety. Seeing Khalid's jubilations while he and I did the arrangement w…


This is not a civil war, as Pedro X. Molina has told us since April this year.

This is not a conflict of two sides.

There is but one, and please click for every element of its physiognomy, because Nicaragua needs help to stop it in its track:

We have seen them gradually transform into their true face. Red swirls for the pupils of their eyes at once disclose their blood-pounding rage and beyond that how there is no sense to be found within. Hundreds have lost their lives to them. Many more are wounded. They are cracking down on the critical press. Pedro X. Molina is one of their targets.

As long as the world does nothing, they can show off their torn prizes. To the left the Nicaraguan constitution is no longer. To the right the human rights.

If still nothing is done, human rights are indeed but an empty void.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Pedro X Molina: PLEASE SHARE.

Dilemma into Conflict

The rock on which Norway is built is a solid one.

Equal measures of heroic history and the grandeur of nature, both of which of a forceful and dangerous character not to be messed with.

With grandeur comes a moral collective obligation to do right and the Norwegians of present day have been doing their utmost. Today this year's Nobel Peace Prize shall be awarded in Oslo. Norway too has housed forums for negotiating peace, just as they strive to be the major donor country in the world. 
Roar Hagen gifted me his beautiful book Den norske fortellingen (The Norwegian Tale) when we met this autumn, highlighting four decades of taking on the role no less of anthropologist and sociologist, working at the core of that very moral dilemma.

While the classical dichotomy of cartooning lies between the ideal that human never was and the actual fallible human, this is a dichotomy between what once was and the moral drive to do likewise in the present.

At the heart of the dilemma lies another o…

"Everyone has left me"

We are speaking of persons, who have already served their sentences.

The Danish government proposes to place "criminal foreigners" on a secluded seven acres island. "Criminal" as in persons who have served a sentence, but cannot be sent back or those who have taken part in foreign wars such as in Syria.

They would be barred from the rest of society.

It would be against the rulings from our High Court just as it would be against the human rights if it were to become a reality. There is no such thing as "problem gone" by secluding certain persons or groups of persons in a responsible society. To willfully do wrong belongs to despotism.

The secluded would continue to be the responsibility of the government in what would be their reality going forward. Every beating, every incident of sexual abuse, and violence from other "inmates" as well as from the guards present is the action of the government.

We have cartooning evidence from within showing us…
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