Car­i­ca­tur­ists in­crease voters’ aware­ness ahead of elec­tions

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Car­i­ca­tur­ists have been play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role for en­hanc­ing elec­torate’s po­lit­i­cal aware­ness ahead of the up­com­ing par­lia­men­tary elec­tions due on Novem­ber 26. Through sim­ple, amus­ing and satir­i­cal works of art that de­pict re­al­i­ties of a com­mu­nity, car­i­ca­tur­ists re­flect deep thoughts and ideas, and smoothly de­liver mes­sages to a wide range of the pop­u­la­tion, that can even change po­lit­i­cal con­vic­tions.

Amid the hec­tic run-up to the elec­tions, KUNA had sep­a­rate in­ter­views with a host of car­i­ca­tur­ists on the role the art of car­i­ca­ture in re­flect­ing the pro­ceed­ings of elec­toral process. They all agreed that the art of car­i­ca­ture can teach vis­ual lit­er­acy like no other form of art does, say­ing it is a lively satir­i­cal of funny rep­re­sen­ta­tion that in most cases car­ries pun­gent crit­i­cism or views. It is a strong art that smoothly creeps into peo­ple’s minds, and af­fect their views, pos­i­tively or neg­a­tively, they all said. The art is es­sen­tially ef­fec­tive in the elec­tions, as it touches upon ma­jor and sen­si­tive is­sues, car­i­ca­tur­ist Mo­ham­mad Al-Thal­lab said.

The Na­tional Assem­bly (par­lia­ment) elec­tions due later this month of­fer a pro­found source and in­spi­ra­tion for a car­i­ca­tur­ist, who can ex­press peo­ple’s con­cerns and ex­pec­ta­tions, as well as his own, through sim­ple clear images and com­ments, that even stir think­ing and raise dis­cus­sions, Thal­lab added. Car­i­ca­ture is in­te­gral to mod­ern press in Kuwait, he said, not­ing that the coun­try has hosted sev­eral events on the art. He pointed to of se­ri­ous steps, al­most be­ing fi­nal­ized, to de­clare the for­ma­tion of a Kuwaiti car­i­ca­ture as­so­ci­a­tion.

The art of car­i­ca­ture plays an ef­fec­tive role in any so­ci­ety, shed­ding light on is­sues of con­cern to the peo­ple, car­i­ca­tur­ist Mo­ham­mad Al-Qah­tani said. It is well em­ployed by car­i­ca­tur­ists to de­liver spe­cific views, he added. No doubt, car­i­ca­tures af­fect voters’ think­ing, and de­ci­sion-mak­ing, he said. In this way, they can widely be used as an in­flu­en­tial tool to form a pub­lic opin­ion. It is as easy as ever for car­i­ca­tures to find their way to peo­ple, through the me­dia, or even faster through so­cial net­work­ing, Qah­tani noted.

Car­i­ca­tur­ist Basil Buhemid pointed to the in­tense ef­fect of the art on di­rect­ing voters. Good car­i­ca­tures must help peo­ple make de­ci­sions on who to vote for, de­pict­ing cer­tain pos­i­tive, as well as the neg­a­tive points of can­di­dates, for in­stance, he said. Buhemid added that the his­tory of the art of car­i­ca­ture in Kuwait is dis­tinct, com­pared to other coun­tries in the re­gion. He at­trib­uted this fact to the broad range of free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion in the coun­try. Kuwait has wel­comed sev­eral renowned Arab car­i­ca­tur­ists, such as Naji Al-Ali, Ba­haa Bukhari, Ab­dul-Redha Ka­mal, and Ab­dul-Salam Maqboul, Buhemid said. Mean­while, car­i­ca­tur­ist Mo­ham­mad Al-Mash­moum said that the sig­nif­i­cance of the art of car­i­ca­ture is that it re­flects re­ceivers’ thoughts and think­ing.

It is a light, yet deep art, that spares peo­ple the fa­tigue of read­ing long ar­ti­cles, and de­liv­ers a con­cept eas­ily and smoothly, with a sense of re­lax­ation, Al-Mash­moum said. Thanks to the breath-tak­ing progress of the me­dia and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, the art has been widely spread, ex­ceed­ing print press to so­cial net­work­ing, he said. A car­i­ca­tur­ist is a self-mon­i­tored artist, who en­joys a strong sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity as an ac­tive mem­ber of the so­ci­ety, AlMash­moum in­di­cated. — KUNA

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