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Countering fear with cartoons

In a lively and thoughtful video interview, Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat talks about drawing political cartoons, countering fear, and having his hands broken by militia attempting to intimidate him:

“The cartoonist doesn’t only present events but also gives an opinion of them. It is about me, how I think and how I should present my idea in the drawing.”

“I use satire to draw dictators who use oppressive methods. I try to marginalize them and make them less important to people. This gives people hope that these dictators are empty and gives people courage to continue to demonstrate and be critical. This is why drawing, for me, carries human causes and moral causes, to encourage the people to transcend their pain into hope.”

“It was forbidden to draw the president, so when I crossed that line people felt encouraged.”

The video’s final section recounts the attack of the militia in 2011.

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