November 25, 2013

Martin Rowson - Political cartoons are assassinations without the blood

In a presentation by Martin Rowson (@MartinRowson) entitled The Power of the Political Cartoon, the Guardian cartoonist explained why he does political cartoons. The self-professed "Albert Schweitzer of British Cartooning" whose sole aim is to please, said:
"I do them because they are assassination without the blood. They are part of the political establishment in the country. For 300 years we've had this kind of satire tolerated. Extremely vicious, rude, personal attacks on people. So in a way it's ritualised. But it's also meant to do damage. It is voodoo. It's part of the symbiotic relationship cartoonists and politicians have. It's mind over matter. We pretend we matter, they pretend they don't mind. 
And what they do also is buy the originals. And this is where we get back to the voodoo. They buy the originals and they invariably hang them in their toilets. You don't have to be much of a Freudian to work out what's happening there. Thy are in fact flushing away the bad magic."
He continued:
"The purpose of satire somebody once said is to puncture pomposity. In fact the purpose of satire is to tear aside the fine arrangements and ceremonial clothing of the elite to show that they are sweating, stinking, pissing, shitting people just like us. It is an egalitarian purpose in satire."
Watch the full presentation here. My previous blog posts on Martin Rowson here and here. Similar posts on Ian Knox here, and Gerald Scarfe here, here and here.

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