Saturday, 28 February 2015

"Figuration is an important tool"


In the first of two blogposts dedicated to Darvin Rodríguez in his own words, we learned of his determination to create difference rather than decoration. That the capacity to be creator of change is inherent in art.

To this end he implements figuration. Not figuration in a calming sense of the recognizable, but a figuration constantly experimented with and taken to its limits. The latter even literally so when the limbs of the worker are barely able to stick together. Seams bursting, where mending have been attempted, fabric erupting into threads revealing the nothingness beyond. And right there in the bursting and the revealing an understanding is jump-started of the slavery of the working conditions.

Below Darvin Rodríguez explains how he choses specific techniques for the specific work. In Personajes de Acción his figures transgresses the comic album frames into which they have been drawn, exemplifying how they as art are confronting us on how our world is organized. Their intention has been taken a step further in his newest work in which the machete is being drawn and lashed out directly at us. Note how the red line is running all through the height of the wall within our  own sphere. We are met with a direct gaze for the first time, while The Reaper in the embodiment of The Undoer is severing himself from the ground, paint running in the trail of his movement of the color and thinning texture of actual blood. Seeing this, I for one cannot wait to see what Darvin Rodríguez will be doing next:



BY DARVIN RODRÍGUEZ


Darvin Rodríguez, detail of the left knee from Carga/Loading
from the series Personajes en Acción, 2014.

In the exhibition "Personajes en Acción" [Personalities in action] I am addressing, how the discourse in comics is very strong, about its expressionist graphics, how it is very seductive, and you can also create an attack with a discourse that lie close to or in line with the national problem. The themes I am focusing on are very idyllic ones, which characterize kitsch-art (cute, graceful, sweet, sympathetic, etc.), where you see people carrying firewood or the like, but which reduces them to something purely observed as objects that have been deprived of their consciousness, their eligibility as persons. If I show working, skinny and sweating people with holes in their clothes, then it is not to arouse pity, but to give them dignity, to honor them, to promote that liberating anger within the people, which I want to awaken.


Darvin Rodríguez, detail of the right knee from Carga/Loading
from the series Personajes en Acción, 2014.

More often than not the Honduran worker takes on upon him the role of a worker, not because he wishes to, but because there is no other alternative; there is no choice and then you take the work that is there and then you have to count on not being able to develop yourself, there is no opportunity to work with yourself as you wish to. You are giving your all, body and soul, but there is no option but to work, and that is ultimately slavery.
Darvin Rodríguez, Odyssey, an experimental derivate 
of the series Personajes en Accíon, 2014.

The figurative tradition in Honduras has been largely limited to creating something decorative of nature. I have taken upon me the task to save figuration, which is an important tool because it is more palatable to people, and you can convey many things through figuration.

Some of my close colleagues believe in my work, although there are those who say that figuration no longer works; they find it is a very distorted perception, or that they suddenly, because they make modern art, do performance or work in mixed media, become hesitant, since they find it very traditional, but I believe that an artist can make art out of a piece of coal as well as from something digital, interactive, as they say. Making video art does not imply that it is a piece of contemporary art in itself, that it is up to speed; you can make art with that piece of coal too. The material, technique, style or theme of is not the problem, but how you to deal with the components in pursuance of structuring an idea.


Darvin Rodríguez, Desatadura/Undoing, 2015.
Regarding the public my application of figuration has been very strategic, because I apply the standards used for advertising, in comic books, or making next to photographic paintings, because people are more accustomed to recognizing the things that they best identify with, and this is where we have figuration. When people see my works, I seduce them visually, and they like it. It is not just a means to attract them to art, but to make them discover that there is something more to it, a discourse, that I have a message I wish to convey, and that that is the main thing.

Darvin Rodríguez, Desatadura/Undoing, 2015.
I was part of an artist collective called "El Círculo". It was formed by a group of young students, who studied art theory, the 20th century avant-garde on the rhetoric of painting, which is very important to study at the art academy. The book "Retórica de la Pintura" [The Rhetoric of the art of painting] was almost like a Bible to us, in that there you will find metaphors, metonymy, synecdoche, irony, but when you use the terms to people at the school, to the teachers, they criticized us and said that we did not speak Spanish. In my works there are always irony, metaphor and comparison. When you know that the anatomy is textual, you can better combine the individual joints, organs, and then know how best to build the discourse, know when to use irony, when to use synecdoche, metonymy, metaphor; so it is necessary first to be conscious of all of these processes, and then transfer them to the visual discourse.

I do not have a linear perception, a form, a style or a color; it is fluctuating; each work has something different. With the theme of the workers I seek first and foremost to honor the comic genre, because it has been regarded as something for the immature, the childish people, who are only playing and have it as a hobby. I think that comics can be applied to tell many interesting things, so it should be cultivated.

The degenerative "heritage" of making easily sold decorative paintings is passed on from generation to generation, and it continues to grow and then you think that if you are good at painting a flower you are an artist, and this is not so. You can be good at painting or drawing, but the main thing is creation, how to express your reality through art so that it turns into a new language; that the graphic arts become a new way of writing.

So I would say to the young artists that they should not follow the pattern of making easy money, that they need to understand that it is not art, and that they must work toward a more dignified and noble art in that the purpose of art is to nourish the population, to awaken it.



The artworks shown are courtesy of Darvin Rodríguez and must not be reproduced without his permission. A very special thank you to Ulandssekretariatet for their kind permission to feature the interview.


Friday, 27 February 2015

"There are those of us who believe in an art that can be aggressive"


At the exhibition Tro, Håb og Overgreb (Faith, Hope and Abuse) arranged by Ulandssekretariatet (The LO/FTF Council) last year we had the pleasure of taking a closer look at the art of Darvin Rodríguez on this blog. The exhibition has been extended and is now being shown the Town Hall in Copenhagen, which is the perfect opportunity to meet the art by Darvin Rodríguez through his own words.

Below is the first of two blogposts on the interview with Darvin Rodríguez by José Victor Aguilar Guillen while preparing for the exhibition and it is with great delight that I have been permitted by Darvin Rodríguez and Ulandssekretariatet to feature it here.

Darvin Rodríguez masterfully unites idea and expression, the latter of which we shall focus on in the second blogpost; the focal point of the present one is his call for art taking responsibility, or as he so superbly puts it: The importance of art as aggression:


Darvin Rodríguez, Descarga -2 /Unloading-2 
from the series Personajes en Acción, 2014.
Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the banana strike in Honduras in 1954 ,
which laid the first foundations for the rights of employees.
The omphalos of the picture plane is the only space left in empty calm
underlining the centripetalism of his strength for once applied for the worker's own good.


BY DARVIN RODRíGUEZ



I find inspiration for the content of my works such as in an indignation about reality. When I watch television, mass media, and they say that art is doing needlework or a handicraft, I become indignant; or when in schools they are teaching art, and it is all about needlework or handicraft, I am indignant too, in that is not for our amusement, it is a very sensitive thing to be taken seriously and in becoming aware of it I have asked myself: I wonder if it is so that the government does not really know what art is? Or have they handled the population so badly that they have degenerated them?

Darvin Rodríguez, Carga/Loading
from the series Personajes en Acción, 2014.
- breaking his two-dimensional plane into our sphere.
And it dawned upon me that it has not, but it is an all-inclusive Machiavellian plan, and that they use the 10 strategies as formulated by Noam Chomsky on how to manipulate the masses, and that one can see on television how they treat people like children, who cannot think for themselves. If there is a problem that is of a direct concern for the entire country, they launch the sudden news for pure show on how for instance a child has been born with five legs in Olancho, and that strategy of being popular, entertaining and vulgar equals being more attractive to society, diverting the mind, which is regrettable. And that is what makes me say: No, art is something else...

I believe that an artist, who wish to be perceived as such, cannot close him- or herself off from the context, the reality, that he or she lives in. There are artists, who shut themselves up in their studios and start painting in isolation from their context. I cannot see myself painting for instance beautiful pictures that are telling us of a happy people, when I hear on the radio or see on television that there is a coup d'état or violence.

Darvin Rodríguez, Carga/Loading
from the series Personajes en Acción, 2014.
Detail of the panel above before its completion
Note the thick black panels running along each of his arms,
he held up by his sheer will of superhuman dimensions.

I cannot mask reality; I cannot be an accomplice of the government with its strategy to tell the world that we are well, that one should be positive, this whole NGO-approach, which they were selling to us. So I find that if you paint something, which has no reality, it would add to the harm of society.

There are those of us who believe in an art that can be aggressive and critical of society.

Art can change reality; it has the power to do so. When art is being manipulated or is at the service of the oligarchy, it turns Machiavellian and soporific, but if art is handled by those, who are attentive to its proper use, I know that art can change reality; in film, music and literature.

I know that if my message comes out to 200 or 10, then I know that they can carry this little seed on to others. I know that I cannot see the outcome of it right now, but when you know people, who begin to think in a different way, who know what professional ethics is, and who know their role in society, then to me that is progress. The neoliberal capitalism tells us that the world belongs to the strongest, but we are not wild creatures. The strongest one is the one who can resist the temptation; the one who hell-bent resists everything to stick to his or her ideas.

It is the type of man to be rescued, this ideal and such a mindset within the strongest one; it has to be the basic idea.



The artworks shown are courtesy of Darvin Rodríguez and must not be reproduced without his permission. A very special thank you to Ulandssekretariatet for their kind permission to feature the interview.


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Chimeral Disintegration


Oleksiy Kustovsky, December 15, 2014.
- do click the images for the detailing and the feeling of it.


Texture is the very first feeling at seeing Oleksiy Kustovsky's works. There is texture through color, naturally. Each color tone is modulated everywhere on the picture plane creating a shimmering surface.

And then there is his use of the line. It has that classical density to it of a graphical work, delivered with a free flowing hand which adds movement to the composition.


Oleksiy Kustovsky, December 22, 2014.


The doubling of techniques is mirrored on the pictorial level. Oleksiy Kustovsky defines figuration in layers in which each element turns out to contain another layer of imagery. At closer inspection the scales of the snail is created through tiny human sculls just like the hammer and sickle is the plug and cord that feeds the iron. 

Which in turn leads to that we as beholders are dissectors, digging into the composition. The layer within is a direct commentary on the one before it, creating a back story or revealing an aspiration. Dissecting is the relevant word here, since the image literally begins to crumble before us into the still smaller pieces pieces of insight on what the protagonist wishes to keep from us.

The true portrait reveals the person within, we all know that. In this case, it is the true physical format of the protagonist, transforming into a chimera on world history coupled the protagonist's own intention; intention as in aspiration of taking that history upon him, recreating what once was.


Oleksiy Kustovsky, November 20, 2014.

Oleksiy Kustovsky, October 27, 2014.

An interesting element to his very aspiration is his vulnerability. In spite of tentacles and grasshopper's wings, or covering his wished-for stone on the ground with a hammer and sickle with that off-centered colorless eye, there is no demonisation, His aspirations is his weakness or at the very least each time discloses his weakness as the constant at the peak of his life.

Still, the chimera is all the more dangerous for his fear of not succeeding; leaving blood in his trail of lower automatic weaponry tentacles - a scientific cartooning term - at the same time as his scull is cracking open and the upper tentacle eyes, off-centered as always, makes for the outer portrait. 


Oleksiy Kustovsky, January 26, 2015.


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


Monday, 23 February 2015

You are...


The wilderness of pointing fingers of all formats as if of a mythical Middle Ages thicket through which the hero, a.k.a. the cartoonist, has to navigate. 

And the cartoonist battles on. He is the only one not complaining, accusing or clamoring. He is mapping the absurdity of his working conditions just the way he maps the absurdities of the world every time he puts pen to paper. 


Fadi Abou Hassan, Red Lines in The Middle East, February 23, 2015.


The cartoon shown is courtesy of Fadi Abou Hassan and must not be reproduced without his permission.


Sunday, 22 February 2015

"Am I the only one?"


That small space of empty picture plane on the top left is what bespeaks the great artist.

Hardly detectable it underlines how The Entrapped is the epitome of existing as opposed to living in the Sartrian sense and since this is not a reposed calm, may we present Khalid Wad Albaih in company with a new Open Letter by Mariam Toure:


Khalid Wad Albaih, Trapped Khartoon, February 22, 2015.


BY MARIAM TOURE



Am I the only one?
Am I the only one to be frustrated whenever we address ourselves as a divided continent?
Am I the only one to feel melancolical every time I notice that some have understood nothing of the words of Joyce Banda, who said "The true leader is someone who sets the common good before his or her own personal interests"?
Am I the only one?
Am I only one to see how my heart bleeds when I look at our plundered wealth without anyone lifting a finger?
Am I then the only one to whom it is revolting to see that our heads of states have understood nothing about "the Union is strength"?
I implore you to tell me that I am not the only one being fed up with the corruption, which blights our society...
I urge you to reassure me telling me that I am not the only to fear for my loved ones, for the children that I do not have, for our future...
Answer therefore, tell me that I am not the only one fearing for the future of the continent when seeing the flight of our brains and the total disinterest from a number of the young, who are thinking more about how to become famous than our building together...
Tell me that the legacy of strength, determination and self-sacrifice of the great of this continent has not emigrated...
My heart, my soul, my mind, my conscience and my faith are all begging you to respond to me.
Answer my call.

Answer my cry of rage,
Answer... If i am not the only one,
If you too believe that, despite the mountain of things that remains to be done, there is still hope,
If like me you feel revulsion against injustice,
If like me you want to give a new meaning to the word "revolution"
NO, revolution does not mean violence and destruction,
NO, revolution does not mean a politico-hypocritical discourse for what reason we continue to suck the poison they gave us as a pacifier,
NO, LET US GIVE THEM THE MEANING OF CHANGE!
Let's give them the meaning of the will to win,
That revolution can be a evolution and not synonymous with regression!
This is my dream!
My african dream...

PS: If you are partakers, rebel with me with the #africandream hashtag, and together... let's start walking!

#AfricanDream



The Khartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Wad Albaih and must not be reproduced without his permission.


Saturday, 21 February 2015

"Massacre has one voice"


The depth within his open mouth, his eyes calling out in desperation meeting nothing to rest upon for help. Every muscle tensed, his whole body is one with his roar of anguished and angry desperation. 


Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydoros, Laocoon and His Sons,
Hellenic baroque, Vatican Museums.
I have cut off the son to Laöcoons left since he seems a later addition;
the struggle for life is so much more inwardly intense without him.


Above is Laocoon struggling against the snakes commanded by Athena to have him elimininated. The plastic arts only have so little of movement having to contain its all in the one moment. It works in space to quote Lessing, who lived so much later than Antiquity and found a face distorted in pain an abomination. In the arts the protagonists ought to be suffering nobly, according to him, thus making art an aesthetic matter rather than an ethic one.

Laocoon roared in pain in Virgil's version, and cartooning is an art form rebelling against that noble division of aesthetics from ethics. While humor is very much the instrument in juxtapositioning stances or situations; juxtaposition is as powerful a tactics in the matter of the most painful of subjects. In this case on the negligence, willed or otherwise, when it comes to Syria bleeding. Salam Alhassan has transformed the pain into the one voice placing him in the midst of the blandness of indifference. 

So visibly deserted by everyone, the Syrians will soon be entering their fourth year of Assad's massacring his own countrymen, with Salam Alhassan's own words beneath: 


Salam Alhassan, February 16, 2015.

Massacre has one voice
A voice that could not be heard
Because conscience is mute
and the heart is deaf



The cartoon shown is courtesy of Salam Alhassan and must not be reproduced without his permission.


Friday, 20 February 2015

Disturbance and Defiance


Following the kidnapping and murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic fishermen by the IS-militia in Libya, the cartoonists have turned their anger into a carefully undermining the symbolic expression of the IS.

Fadi Abou Hassan has made a call out for the freedom that he and his contemporaries have been fighting for; in his own words:

"Where is our freedom?

That is the truth in the Middle East now, unfortunately...ISIS kidnapped our revolutions against dictatorship. ISIS kidnapped our Arab Spring in Syria... Libya.... Iraq... etc."


Fadi Abou Hassan, Arab Spring??? February 19, 2015.

And yet, in her state of chock the Statue of Liberty manages to disturb and maintain an enlightened corner on the black surface, while the Shahada, i.e. the Islamic creed that the IS has applied to their flag, has been substituted by two crossed swords. A nod to the Jolly Roger in the stead of a religious allegiance of any kind. IS is violence and nothing but.

The day after the killings, Doaa Eladl portrayed defiance. She swapped the two rows of men, letting the Black Clad be trampled under foot by Egyptians of all persuasions in unison. The defiance is not primarily of a soothing nature, rather of the "damn it!" kind, the eyes in anger underneath having no more say:
Doaa Eladl, Walk Like an Egyptian, February 17, 2015.



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


Plato for Beginners


The TRUTH was found in a comics album. Naturally. Now the time has come to dissecting Plato and as with locating the Truth no one surpasses Ivar Gjørup, who has partaken in the complete and just completed new translation into Danish of Plato's works. The drawings are translated into English underneath each panel, and please click each drawing to enjoy the finer details of that man with that rounded nose as we have known him since Antiquity and his protégée eager to know. So, without further ado:



BY IVAR GJØRUP

Plato for Beginners

- In 12 steps!



Ivar Gjørup, Plato for Beginners, part one (1-3), February 2015.

1.
- Hello, my little friends, my name is Socrates. I know nothing
This I now want to share with you

2.


3.
-That went quite well, I think...
- Eh?
His public is shouting: Bravo! NOTHING could be better! Much better!




Ivar Gjørup, Plato for Beginners, part two, (4-8) February 2015.


4.
- I understand nothing?
- funny coincidence....

5.
- Actually Platon wrote nothing! He says so himself in his Second Letter*

(* Volume 6, page 51, 2.314c: "There is no work by Plato and there never will be...")

6.
- Which wasn't written by him, however
- eh?

7.
A fact that serves to confirm his claim!!

8.
- What is the meaning of it all, Socrates??!?
- It's a secret




Ivar Gjørup, Plato for Beginners, part three (9-12), February 2015.


9.
All is written here - but it must not be told!

10.
- What did you do to the other five books?
- Swallowed them all

11.
- Good! No one else can do the job for you: Here you are and Congratulations

12.
DIPLOMA
A: Cut along the dotted line
B: Look at the resulting hole for not less than one hour
C: Move your eyes from that emptiness to the World Around You
D: Notice the difference


YOU HAVE NOW UNDERSTOOD PLATO



Ivar Gjørup
Cartoonist and Translator of Plato
February 2015




The cartoons are courtesy of Ivar Gjørup and must not be reproduced without his permission. A special thank you to Politiken that first printed the cartoons on February 19. Translation into English jointly by Ivar Gjørup and Louise.



Wednesday, 18 February 2015

On The Relativity of Absolutes



On the day of the publication of the cartoon right below by Per Marquard Otzen, we were discussing whether the young understand allusions. Common denominators are tricky beasts; Kierkegaard after all diagnosed them as the tragedy of the cartoonist since he or she has to stick to the lowest ones in order to be understood.

Oh, but they do understand. The young. Per Marquard Otzen is actually one of their sources of inspiration for his many layered drawings playing with literary ideas and personas, which in turn set the mind of the beholder into play. 

Add to this his bold use of the line, as if thrown onto the picture plane with the hand gesture of the true master, sprinkling out Zeus, the champion of transformation in company with Kierkegaard, the never resting question maker. Each of them symbols on our many lives within our physical one, challenging who we are and never coming up with the one answer since we embody them all. They are necessary even for us to gain our freedom as humans. Including the unceasingly existentially challenged ducks of course. 

The very word to play on life and identities brought on a dialogue by Tony Daoud on the importance of not taking the very words that denote the either-or for their stated value and accept them as absolutes. And so it seemed just right bringing image and conditionals together:


Per Marquard Otzen, The Relativity of Identity; the prerequisite to achieve freedom: 
The right to have changing and composite identities.
December 3, 2014.



BY TONY DAOUD



The NO and YES are the same depending on how, when, where and why we are using them.


NO to war, YES to peace...

NO to gin, YES to vodka...

NO to cocktails YES to shots...

NO to halal, YES to pork...

NO to rape, YES to sex...

NO to marriage, YES to love...

and so on...


But these samples could be transformed to another speech, like:


NO to gay marriage, YES to missionary marriage.

NO to darwin, YES to jesus.

NO to alcohol, YES to apple jus.
...


But since we spend our entire life accepting what's coming without noticing, and not daring or paying attention that we should sometimes say NO, the NO become a need for a period of time, the "all time-to everything" NO, 
like we are revenging all the "YESses" we said in our past (starting from yesterday past) willingly and unwillingly. 

It's a self defense mechanism against the YES, even the good YES, cause we know that we are weak to balance between the YES and NO, and naive to know the difference between the good YES and the bad YES and the good NO and the bad NO.


We have to choose between them; the YES all the time or the NO all the time, or else we will swing between these dangerous words like a ping pong ball, which I guess in medical terms is called schizophrenia. Some people choose the YES (unfortunately) simply because they are coward (safety zone, social security, monthly payment, uncertainty...)
 and others choose the NO as a revolt (fortunately). Even if it started in a shape of: nobody understand me, I hate my parents, I hate school... 
the dangerous part is to keep saying NO as I mentioned earlier "all time-to everything", cause it will become another kind of YES. 

The YES to who benefits the NO, who take advantage of it.
 The right way in my opinion is to make the balance between these to POWERS.
 

Say NO if you feel it, and you can apologize and change your mind.
 

Say YES if you feel it, and you can apologize and change your mind.


At least you had a chance once to say and do what you want even if it's a mistake. But it's your own mistake, and it's much better and sweeter than someone else's right.




The cartoon shown is courtesy of Per Marquard Otzen and must not be reproduced without his permission.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

All That Is True Can Be Drawn


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!

More than 100 congolese, including women and children were killed in the course of a month in the province Beni in eastern regions of DR Congo in the most barbaric way possible and the explanation is to be found in the dictionaries: Genocide.
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 Kash, November 24, 2014.
- Hello, Kinshasa? It's hell here!!
Will you reassign us our 40% in order for us to buy nonflammable vehicles for our own money! Shit!
- This is Kin... Call the International Community!
When about 50 tanker trucks loaded with fuel and chemicals took fire
at the strategic border post of Kasumbalesa in Katanga,
the fire brigade did not arrive until eight hours later. 


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.



Thembo Muhindo Kashauri, February 21, 2014.
- For 50 years the centrafricans have had hardly anything to eat,
but they are very rich in elegant weapons with which to kill each other. It is insane!
- Among those who rush in to "aid", you will find the sponsors of this "business"!


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: Another massacre at Beni: 32 dead!!!
December 10, 2014.
A soldier of the armed forces of DRC Congo: - Me... I have seen nothing!
A UN soldier: - Me... I have heard nothing!
- Who have sent us the blind and deaf to subdue the wild animals?

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:





Dangerous as his line of work is, yet Thembo Muhindo Kashauri states all that is true can be sketched and drawn:

 "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.


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