|Thembo Muhindo Kashauri, November 3, 2014.|
|Thembo Muhindo Kashauri, October 24, 2014.|
- I want to cut the throat of even more civilians!...
Nothing and no one shall stop us!
Soon they will be talking more about us than Ebola and Boko Haram!
Such were the words by Thembo Muhindo Kashauri alias Thembo Kash on a region in which the congolese army, as many as 10 batallions according to his information, along with UN troops were already present. The tension that arised in the aftermath was thus a double one: The killing and the absence of the protection promised, letting it happen.
The identity of the perpetrator in the second drawing above is on the other hand not disclosed. He could be any of a couple of suspected groupings. The protagonist is the meeting of the anger of the slain with the intent of going through with it. In the first drawing above the lines of the pen are cutting across, the ink not having dried into a unified plane of color. The streaming constitutes a landscape of protest with the mount as witness in both drawings above.
Thembo Muhindo Kashauri creates indignation and the call for action in a situation of passivity and the utter lack of anyone taking responsibility. The drawing above is on yet another region in dire need of someone to call to make that very decision right at hand.
The passivity has a direct outcome in high octane action ripping apart the picture plane. Complete with a flying truck all aflame. Condensed into the one frame there is enough action for a full page in a comics album; the line work changing from soft bellowing to spiky ones. All lines are encircling the motif in a constant interaction of the white paper with the black precision of the ink; an interaction, which in itself could constitute the drama.
The many words add to the overall movement. Thembo Muhindo Kashauri proves how powerful the use of words are in a drawing when used with a precision as if they are part of the line work. Each drawing contains information to a degree that it constitutes a full report on the why resulting in the what of each dilemma, incorporating all layers of regional, national and international interests.
Consequently it takes time to take it all in, ensuring that the beholder stays in front of the drawing all the while, first and last taking his/her time to reflect on that in which the many actual players would rather not indulge. There is a daring to that intention, insisting on the will and capacity of cartooning.
I have a particular weakness for the narrator within, a true apprenticeship of the nestor explaining the human weaknesses to the young. Disclosing to us too how this is a guerre imposée, a war enforced upon the whole population by The Multinationals, profiteering on handing over weapons to warlords in exchange for minerals.
The Multinationals. The power play at hand condensed into one word. The Multinationals avoid having to negotiate with anyone in an official capacity, getting the minerals the cheapest possible, leaving behind weapons in the hands of self-proclaimed warlords and their militia. The egotism of all parties involved, resulting in a situation in Beni in which no one would rather take part:
|Thembo Muhindo Kashauri, December 28, 2014.|
- I confirm: The state exists at Beni!
- Is that really what he will put in his report?
- His report was edited before he even came!
They might as well have made a joint communiqué that the civilians had been murdered by invisibles or extra-terrestials, as Thembo Muhindo Kashauri added when publicating his drawing on Facebook. They could at the very least have communicated that they had failed their mission.
Instead, Évariste Boshab: Vice-Premier Minister of Interior and Security visited Beni stating that everything was fine, including the security of the population. He is consequently portrayed as a tourist. The blood has by now dried up, exposing another sea this time of hacked skulls. Their eye sockets are lined up in a double layer of ink as if looking out in despair.
Thembo Muhindo Kashauri points in short to the very core of the problems pervading all areas of the congolese society. In order to make it a legitimate state, the table has to be changed to let the parliament take on the position of servant to the people, while the people should rightfully be patron:
"If you do a good job, do not think about the consequences.
You must do it first".
The cartoons shown are courtesy of Thembo Muhindo Kashauri and must not be reproduced without his permission.