Sunday, 28 February 2016

Who Is The Cartoonist?

It was heart wrenching taking leave of Zunar at the airport in December following the Amnesty street action. Fadi Abou Hassan/FadiToOn and I saw him walk away. We were both silent. Zunar is as courageous as his struggle is dangerous and seeing him in the crowds underlined the magnitude of what he does in spite of his human, exhausted frame. He looked so tiny in the buzz of the airport.

His court case in which he is risking 43 years of imprisonment for nine tweets "violating the Sedition Act" was postponed to March 9 and we shall see of what carat the legal system proves to be. The carat of the prime minister's wife's ring is invariably to be found in every one of Zunar's cartoons, as are the tweeting police officer neglecting the actual criminals to investigate those criticizing the criminals.

Zunar, Ban the Truth, February 26, 2016.
Please help share this drawing as widely as possible
in support of Zunar.

Zunar's audience expects and demands the ring and the tweeting officer in every cartoon; every time telling that very story on centralized corrupted power and yet every time a new tale. Such as The Maharaja, or rather Najib as the Marahajib, where a new symbol is added in: The press licking the power, proving how charged with energy symbols are in the words of Christiane Taubira in Murmures a la jeunesse. Symbols unite and thus their function is a social one just as they possess an ethical dimension, in her words.

In fact a definition, which just as well could be used to describe the cartoonist, a creator of unifying symbols, making them come alive, whereby a critical sense is nurtured. Below is a manifest on the cartoonist by Fadi Abou Hassan/FadiToOn in his words on Zunar: "I shall never forget his sweet smile":

Zunar, Maharajib, February 23, 2016.
Please help share this drawing as widely as possible
in support of Zunar.

Who Is The Cartoonist?


The cartoonist is a human who registers the political and social inconsistency of life in the world.

The cartoonist is a biased person in defending human suffering. Her/his pen is the voice of voiceless people, who suffer in our world. (S)he is a person, who draws to defend life and love.

The cartoonist is a human, who believe in freedom and social justice. (S)he is a human, who has broken the scissors of censorship inside her/himself to break all taboos and restrictions by her/his pen.

The cartoonist is a person, who has nothing but her/his heart and her/his pen in this life.

(S)he is a person, who sacrifices her/his life to freedom, equity, justice of all people in the world. (S)he could be the Palestinian cartoonist, Naji Al Ali, who was killed in London in 1987 or (S)he could be Ali Ferzat, the Syrian cartoonist whose fingers were broken in 2011. And last but not least, the five French cartoonists of CHARLIE HEBDO, who were killed in the Paris attack – Charb, Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous and Honoré last January 2015.

The cartoonist is a person, who always says "to be or not to be" in his war against dictatorship, terrorism and extremism.

Friday, 26 February 2016

The Putinoid

A portrait is a double act.

Oleksiy Kustovsky, February 26, 2016.

More specifically it consists of a double set of intentions. The intention of the artist to portray the intention(s) of the one portrayed.

Those two may have a mutual goal in creating a mighty portrayal of a ruler for instance. "By thy mask I shall know thee", as Karen Blixen wrote on the aristocratic statemanly aura and artists have gained great reputations in creating that mask.

Then again the portrait may be a battleground of intentions clashing, such as when the artist addresses that very aura of the mighty ruler with the intention of undressing him.

Case in point:

Oleksiy Kustovsky, Octopus Sovieticus/Propaganda in Russia,
 January 13, 2016.

Oleksiy Kustovsky, December 22, 2015.
I promised Oleksiy not to show any text, but the drawing is so rich.

The original gems for the Imperial Crown would each have represented lives lost in the making of it. The gems of this century is no less dangerous keeping the population sucked in with the circus of pomp and circumstance of the Tsar of the 21st century.

Portraits such as these could be angry counter-propaganda to an efficient Putinian machinery. Oleksiy Kustovsky on the contrary has taken Putin on this own word, entering into a dialogue on his line of actions.

To this end he uses the squinting half-ironic eyes of his protagonist as if he good-humoredly exposes his aspirations, manipulations, aggressions and first and last his vanity, making certain the spotlight is constantly his.

Oleksiy Kustovsky, December 22, 2015.

Only these are deeds he wishes to remain unseen and so the battle of intentions comes into full force. Putin acts and intentionally so, while diverting the attention away. Yet, now we have seen him take action on Syria, Ukraine and the M17-plane, which never made it to Malaysia.

He becomes his very actions to a degree that he is transformed into his aspirations

With the squint and a nose of never-ending proportions, he is the war machinery of tanks and bloodied missiles with which he is hammering his annexations of land, just as he is convicted of the M17-crash at the very moment the crash is taking place, standing on toes while about to serve his own head on a plate.

The chameleon makes ample use of the length of his tongue to tie the dove of peace to get its job done. The M17 is tied to his tail and in between he has Assad pocketed and and... Please click the cartoons for full impact. Each is a kaleidoscopic composition; impossible to fit in as large as they ought to be seen.

Oleksiy Kustovsky, December 22, 2015.

The Putinoid is the creator of his own truth, a glued one in order to make the pieces of his puzzle stay together. Blood is spilled in the process of cutting and pasting and his full force is needed to keep the monstrosity together.

It is the first time we see him immobilized and since it is high time for the or any ceasefire in Syria, let us take leave of him for now, leaving him as it is exposing the pretense and abuse of power alike of his double acting.

Oleksiy Kustovsky, December 22, 2015.

The cartoons shown are courtesy of Oleksiy Kustovsky and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

"and together it is a good line"

The concentrated light of a street kitchen reminds me of a very special movie:

Niels Larsen, Vienna, December 2015.

The scene comes from Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire) by Wim Wenders, in which the protagonist Gabriel is an angel, who longs to become a human. Humans have senses, they see colors, they sense warmth, and Peter Falk plays himself, a former angel, who senses Gabriel's (invisible to humans) presence and tells him, what he is missing. There is such a thing as drawing for instance; the sheer physical joy of drawing a line:

"You pick a pencil
and you make a dark line
then you make a light line
and together it is a good line"

The photo shown is courtesy of Niels Larsen and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Post Scriptum

Windmills are a scheme put on by extremists, according to Claes Kastholm Hansen, a Danish right-winger and literary critic, who loved to deal out verbal and written punches according to his own gospel.

Now he has passed away and Lars Andersen marks his passing by a clever reverence of a pen laid down as the horse points to with a coy hoof, while unfolding the landscape of a life of war declarations.

This is the epitome of an old-school obituary as excelled in The Times.

Lars Andersen, Post Scriptum, February 8, 2016.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Lars Andersen and must not be reproduced without his permission.

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