Thursday, March 5, 2009

Symbolism and Cartoons

Found this editorial cartoon on an Afghan website recently. What do you think? Cartoons are serious business. Some cartoonists have death threats made against them for cartoons they've drawn depicting religious figures or other cultural icons. Do some research, how many cartoonists have been murdered for expressing their views through art? Wonder who's heads those are hanging? And what about that whip? Is this cartoon inflammatory? Would like your opinions. Just added this article, relevant to the cartoon.

Teachers: Discuss what the term Symbolism means with your students. Is the artist using symbolism or is he being literal? What does literal mean? What do you suppose the artist's message is? What is the difference between an editorial cartoon and those found on the comics page of a newspaper? Have your students deconstruct the cartoon in groups and have each group report on what they believe the cartoon is saying. After they report out, the discussions generated can lead to further investigation concerning the Taliban, religious teachings, Afghan culture, etc. See where it leads.


  1. The whip is for any students that ask questions

  2. I have come back to this cartoon several times - it is disturbing and haunting.

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