Ira­nian artist’s ‘Trump­ism’ car­toon a winning draw

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

IRA­NIAN artist Hadi Asadi has beaten hun­dreds of other con­tes­tants to win first place in a “Trump­ism” car­toon con­test held in Tehran – his winning car­i­ca­ture de­pict­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump as a flame­haired man wear­ing a suit made of dol­lar bills, drool­ing on to a pile of books.

The com­pe­ti­tion, called the “In­ter­na­tional Trump­ism Car­toon and Car­i­ca­ture Con­test”, was an­nounced last month.

It was set up by a group that has also or­gan­ised car­toon con­tests on themes such as the Is­lamic State and the Holo­caust (the group says the lat­ter was de­signed to high­light dou­ble stan­dards on free speech).

“Trump’s be­hav­iour clearly sets out Iran’s rea­sons to dis­trust the US. Con­se­quently, we de­cided to use art’s ca­pac­ity for dis­play­ing the be­hav­iour,” or­gan­iser Ali-As­ghar Ja­fari told re­porters.

“Aside from his per­sonal char­ac­ter­is­tics, Trump has also posed dif­fer­ent chal­lenges to the world and treats Iran and the Is­lamic world un­con­ven­tion­ally in par­tic­u­lar.”

Asadi re­ceived $1 500 in prize money on Mon­day. He said he wanted to show the “money-mind­ed­ness and war­mon­ger na­ture” of the US pres­i­dent.

Asadi’s Face­book page sug­gests that he cre­ated the art­work last year – and that he has pro­duced nu­mer­ous other sim­i­lar car­i­ca­tures over re­cent years, of­ten of celebri­ties.

Or­gan­is­ers claim that artists from 75 coun­tries took part in the con­test, where 1 600 art­works were con­sid­ered – in­clud­ing four from the US.

Many of the car­toons com­pared Trump to Hitler – a de­lib­er­ate theme at the event, which used a logo based on the Nazi em­blem.

Mock­ing and satiris­ing US lead­ers has long been an of­fi­cially sanc­tioned pas­time in post-rev­o­lu­tion Iran – part of a broader move­ment that in­cludes an­nual protests out­side the former US em­bassy in Tehran.

Al­though these protests had gen­er­ally grown less en­thu­si­as­tic in re­cent years, Trump’s fierce anti-Iran rhetoric seems to have reignited a de­sire to ridicule Amer­i­can lead­ers.

The ex­hi­bi­tion ac­com­pa­ny­ing the “Trump­ism” car­toon con­test opened on Mon­day, the day be­fore Amer­ica’s In­de­pen­dence Day and the 29th an­niver­sary of the day a US fighter jet shot down an Ira­nian plane, killing all 290 pas­sen­gers and crew mem­bers on board.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is due to re­main open for a week, with a se­lec­tion of the art­works to be show­cased af­ter­wards in 11 other coun­tries. – Wash­ing­ton Post

PIC­TURE: AP

An Ira­nian woman looks at a car­toon mock­ing US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at an ex­hi­bi­tion in Tehran.

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