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Middle east

Cartoonists capture the Arab revolutions

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-07-05

To draw or not to draw?

For more than a year, the world has watched awe-inspiring events rock North Africa and the Middle East. Images of the so-called Arab Spring revolutions have flooded our homes and lives.

Bahgory, Egypt

From Tunis to Cairo and Tripoli to Damascus, ordinary citizens of diverse colours and creeds have risen to demand greater dignity, freedom and democracy. They do so at great personal risk. Summary prison, torture, exile and death have been, and continue to be, the punishments reserved for those who dare to defy their country’s despotic regimes.

Despite the potential retribution they face, political cartoonists have also contributed their own offbeat, critical and above all, courageous takes on the drama engulfing the region. In some of the world’s leading Arabic newspapers, their drawings have invited reflection and sparked reaction.

Spotlight on five cartoon artists

Behind each political cartoon, there is a man or woman who has made a difficult choice and has often endured its consequences. “Cartoonists Capture the Arab Revolutions” is a webdoc series produced by SAMAR MEDIA that brings to light five of the region’s leading cartoon artists.

Through personal interviews, these seven-minute videos tell the stories behind the drawings. They describe their first-ever or most daring cartoons. They tell us how they approach their subjects and shed some light on which ones they are still hoping to bring to life.

The series presents cartoon artists who have retold the revolutions from their unique point of view, helping frame the complicated debates that arise as the old regimes fall.

Featured cartoonists:

Ferzat Ali (Syria), online Friday, June 29
Bahgory (Egypt), Friday, July 6
Dilem (Algeria), Friday, July 13
Nadia Khiari (Tunisia), Friday, July 20
Z (Tunisia), Friday, July 27

The interviews were conducted by the award-winning documentary director Vanessa Rousselot. Her latest film "Jokes Aside" explores Palestinian humour.

The Facebook page of SAMAR MEDIA:!/SamarMediaTv

Date created : 2012-06-27