Africa’s political cartoons – in pictures

The Guardian Winner of the Pulitzer prize home › world › africa middle east europe US americas asia australia UK sport football opinion culture economy lifestyle fashion environment tech money travel all AfricaGuardian Africa network Africa’s political cartoons – in pictures Tejumola Olaniyan founded, the first continent-wide digital encyclopaedia of political cartoons by African artists. He talks to African Digital Art about the collection Africa Digital Art, part of the Guardian Africa Network Thursday 19 February 2015 05.00 GMTLast modified on Thursday 19 February 2015 11.12 GMT Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailShare on PinterestShare on Google+ Shares 171 Comments 0 Mugabe steals the election Tayo Fatunla Nigeria “The primary motivation for starting the encyclopaedia was to stimulate more scholarly interest in African cartoons,” says Olaniyan. “I wanted to compose an encyclopaedia that is comprehensive in its continental coverage.” Illustration: Tayo Fatunla/ FacebookTwitterPinterest Down with your Isms! Ghanatta Ghana “I developed an interest in clipping and collecting political cartoons from the newspapers during my secondary school years in Nigeria in the 1970s. Often, I bought the papers because of the cartoons … Collecting is much easier now, thanks to the internet.” Illustration: Ghanatta/ FacebookTwitterPinterest The People’s Budget Ghanatta Ghana “Politics is the art of managing the way we organise ourselves in society, how we marshal and distribute resources and responsibilities. Politics, as such, will never cease to be a contentious business, and political cartoons are everyday in-the-moment commentaries on how we could still do better, all things considered.” Photograph: Ghanatta/ FacebookTwitterPinterest Mandarin Lessons JG Curtis South Africa “Political cartooning in many African countries has always had a significant influence on popular visual culture and the arts, and vice versa. “In some instances, many cartoonists started out as graphic artists for newspapers — designing advertisements and so on — before shifting to cartooning, and in fact before going to art school and getting any significant formal training in the arts.” Photograph: JG Curtis/ FacebookTwitterPinterest Advertisement Candlelit Dinner Knowleh Mushohwe Zimbabwe “The post-1990s explosion in political cartooning has also encouraged the growth of allied arts such as standup comics, and forms of street tourist art.” Photograph: Knowleh Mushohwe/ FacebookTwitterPinterest Jacob Zuma Knowleh Mushohwe Zimbabwe “There are many truly great cartoonists working across the board. We could name the most influential artists currently practicing as Zapiro in the south, Gado in the east, Ali Dilemin the north, and Tayo Fatunla in the west. Sorry, it’s a gentlemen’s club… Within each region or country, there are, of course, many influential cartoonists.” Photograph: Knowleh Mushohwe/ FacebookTwitterPinterest UNITA’s New Look Lito Silva Angola “ is a contribution to forms of wider access for our cartoons, by providing a one-stop site where you can learn more about who is working where, see samples of their work, and see links to their personal websites, the papers they work for, and other useful information about them.” Photograph: Lito Silva/ FacebookTwitterPinterest Zimbabwe’s Cartoonists Tony Namate Zimbabwe “There are now many opportunities for African cartoonists in the digital sphere. Many newspapers now also publish online. Anyone anywhere in the world with internet access could view their work.” Photograph: FacebookTwitterPinterest Advertisement Courtship Victor Ndula Kenya “The cartoonists’ visual styles seem to be determined less by region than by the early influences on the cartoonists, and those influences are generally cross-regional.” Photograph: Victor Ndula/ FacebookTwitterPinterest Race to Class Victor Ndula Kenya “One interesting stylistic issue is the use of single versus multiple panels for political cartooning. It has historically been in single panels across the board in most of Africa’s newspapers. “Multi-panel political cartoons began to appear later, but it remains a minority practice in each of the regions.” Photograph: Victor Ndula/ FacebookTwitterPinterest Abacha Tayo Fatunla Nigeria “The political cartoon is a most utopian art in the most heroic and selfless way. It never praises us, because it believes we can always do better, and it pokes fun at us for not aiming higher.” Tejumola Olaniyan is a professor of English and African cultural studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His is an online encyclopaedia for the promotion and study of African political cartooning. He is also currently writing a book on the history of the art form in Africa. Photograph: FacebookTwitterPinterest Sent from my iPad

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