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Khamenei Threefold Incarnated

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While Assad was not supposed to have his portrait made  in that the revolution was about the Syrian people and not his person, the bloodshed has been going on for so long that a face is in order. This is a manmade catastrophe. Someone is actively perpetrating it and so that someone is responsible for each life taken. He is consequently not so much a face as all movement as portrayed by Khalid Gueddar. Shielded by Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader, the two of them mirror one another with a direct compositional downward line running from the gaze of the one holding guard to the one adding to the pile of the slaughtered. All of it made possible by the floating of the robe of thick oil. In the Nordic languages as well in German, we have a word for what we are seeing: Khamenei in s elvtredje / själv tredje /s elbdritt . As in having three incarnations, each incarnation responsible for propagating the next one. Oh, and the drawing is already two years old: Khalid Gueddar, 2013.

On What Cartooning Is Not

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Niels Hansen Jacobsen,  Troll that smells Christian Blood , 1895/96, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.  Photo: LCL.  Despots on the receiving end of the cartoonist's pen will lament the pure malice of their line. Cartooning is an angry art form in which the cartoonists use their art to instill anger in the rest of us, they will insist.  Let us step back for a moment to the tiny strip of a garden behind the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. Just a few steps long and wide, you find yourself taking in a deep breath of calm.  In between the greenery are sculptures of little more than a century old yet dreaming of Antiquity and mythological life and the most insistent among them is  Trold der vejrer kristenblod  (i.e. Troll that smells Christian blood) by Niels Hansen Jacobsen (1861-1941) from 1895/96. Niels Hansen Jacobsen,  Troll that smells Christian Blood , 1895/96,  Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek .  Photo: LCL.  In the pre-pandemic times Zapiro was here with his family and we were met by the

On the International Day of the Girl Child

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Cintia Bolio, #Girls, NOT Mothers , 2017. On the International Day of the Girl Child , Cintia Bolio's cartoon above points to a specific dilemma, but one that exemplifies the precarious lives of girls across the globe. Girls should be empowered. They should be on the receiving end of education and safe formative years, and never be the wastebaskets of all that is corrupt in a society. Everybody loses when we lose our girls. As a special edition of the Day of the Dead this one comes with a warning. When have we ever seen the Grim Reaper objecting to doing his job because the task at hand goes against his conscience?  The cartoon shown is courtesy of Cintia Bolio and must not be reproduced without her permission.

The Captain's Heart

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Screen dump from Kaptajnens Hjerte (i.e. The Captain's Heart). © Simon Bang. How do we define a life that remained silent and lived out their life in an environment and in circumstances we have never known? Screen dump from  Kaptajnens Hjerte  (i.e. The Captain's Heart). © Simon Bang. The documentary Kaptajnens Hjerte (i.e. The Captain's Heart) by Simon Bang is an exploration into that very question featuring Simon's maternal grandfather, Knud Goth, and the great love of Goth's life, the cargo ship - and one cargo ship in particular - with which he traversed the world seas from when he was a minor to the day he retired.  Goth was the patriarch incarnate. Leaving his family for years at a time or summoning them to stay aboard with him, the bridge of the ship was his outlook to the world. The ship was his responsibility as well as his powerhouse. And it was his alone. It was a life of two world wars, having his ship wrecked by mines and submarines, an Allied bombard

Badiucao Is On Fire

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Badiucao, On Fire , March 10, 2022. Badiucao is on fire. He is scouring the imagery coming out from Ukraine while analysing the reactions on the Russian invasion across continents. He is our eyes and ears and ultimately he cannot have had much sleep the past weeks. Suddenly the connection was there for THAT cartoon. The photos of any bottle turning into a Molotov cocktail, calling out to everyone in Ukraine to help prepare them for the resistance. The sunflower as the symbol of Ukraine and flowers need water for their nourishment. Together the two form a symbol of stamina, resourcefulness, and the moral right to freedom.  They are hardly there as light as they are in their delicate and translucent vertical line and mirrored shadow. Yet they have so much presence. This particular flower is one of the sunflowers of Van Gogh, beyond its peak and now withering, but seen on its own it becomes the personification of the insistence of life. The two of them in unison are on fire. Badiucao has

Let It Be Seen

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  Khalid Albaih, March 14, 2022. At the core of cartooning is the exposure what is otherwise not visual in character or not visually available, i.e. it is taking place were no one gets to document it. 81 humans were beheaded in a mass execution in one day on Saturday in Saudi Arabia. 81 are a show off of power. My own country can attest to what that signifies. 80 were beheaded in Stockholm in 1520. It is half a millennium ago and it is an act of disgrace to this day.  Oh, and Mohammed bin Salman: The Danish king lost his Swedish crown and soon after his Danish one too as a result of this. Khalid Albaih lets the act be documented on the green of the Saudi flag and carried out with the flag's ceremonial sabre. This is the deed by which the Saudi state has chosen to define itself. The bloodied headless neck confronts the world. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time", as Maya Angelou affirmed. The cartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Albaih and must

The War Criminal

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  Marilena Nardi, #PutinIsAWarCriminal, March 5, 2022. When a major incident takes place on cartoonists are at once hesitant and are impatient to react immediately. They wish to prove the relevance of their art, but the first cartoons produced will still be tentative while their cartoonists are absorbing as much information possible of the reasons for the parties involved, the developments and their implications.  At a certain point a change enters the scene. The cartoons gain a maturity in which their cartoonists dare to make those bold strokes that characterise a situation beyond itself. This is where cartooning demonstrate that it is indeed an art form. The present cartoon of Marilena Nardi is a case in point. A political cartoon which contains every layer of a situation from the why to the what. Future generations will know and understand everything about the Russian war on Ukraine by this one cartoon. It is a composition on the immobility of mind of the war criminal by way of the

Dictatorship

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  Iman Rezaee, Dictatorship; Every Dictatorship will end, but taking down a dictator often comes at at price , November 24, 2021. Iman Rezaee creates wide horizons with a light that is never bright, but dresses the scenery in a soft uniformity from which there seems to be no escape. Into this his pen specifies those who takes stronghold of it all, commanding that there must indeed be no freedom from their own outlook.  The two present cartoons juxtaposes the dictatorship of all times with the dictators of our day - or sadly, three of them - working in tandem at once enabling and keeping each other in check.  Ultimately their humanity shall fail them. Their human body takes them down, however extreme their denial of it. We are witnessing that final struggle right now from of one of the three, all the more lethal from his panic of nearing his end at power.  That panic is uncovered by the cartoonist and in the midst of the carnage from their egos, his signature is always to be found above