The Canvas of International Politics

Khalid Wad Albaih, August 27, 2015.

The pages of our history book have been predominantly green of lately.

Khalid Wad Albaih, March 26, 2015.
The old city in Sana'a has been targeted in the Saudi-Arabia's air raids on Yemen the past months and although we have yet to know the extent of destruction in Sana'a, its status as an UNESCO World Heritage Site accentuates how we have all been made targets in the Saudi-Arabian assault.

Consequently is the visual explanation at play here. Actions have consequences and as a consequence of being the symbolic face of the Saudi nation, the Saudi-Arabian flag forms the picture plane of recent cartooning.

In the first instance above, its responsibility for the fate of Sana'a has dragged it out of its formal proportions, while the ceremonial sword metamorphoses with the specific actions taken, i.e. bomb raids and OIL, the latter as the reason for everything. It can not least be turned against the Saudis themselves, with the Iranian violation of The Shahada for confrontation:

Khalid Gueddar, October 3, 2015.

Qua their symbolical import, flags are carriers of international politics. Stereotypical as they may seem, they work by being exactly that. As stereotypes they are of the willed kind as a canvas for aspirations, self-definition and showing off publicly and are as such open invitations for the cartoonist.

This is in stark contrast to stereotypes on humans or continents for instance. I for one hope never to see the ultimate stereotype of the African continent drawn again. That massive expanse of variety, where we humans shared our first foremother. To see it drawn as one piece of land, dragging in the entirety of nations to speak of the one thing, famine, draught or war usually, is lazy cartooning at its criminally worst. The expanse of land is exhibited as a unity: a singular, simple problem to the extent that is speaks only of the minds, which draw and refer to it.

Khalid Wad Albaih, January 4, 2016.

In comparison the present planes of green carry moral issues of international import. Lately on the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr (Nimr meaning tiger) in which the Saudi will have to reflect whether one is supposed to soil one's own flag. In fact, the ceremonial sword is failing the moral test of its reach altogether:

Khalid Gueddar, January 5, 2016.

The cartoons shown are courtesy of their cartoonists and must not be reproduced without their permission.

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