“Holy Water”: A Cartoon About the Burning Amazon Forest
“Holy Water”: A Cartoon About the Burning Amazon Forest
As most of you know, my country, Italy, has been sliding faster and faster down toward an ultra-nationalism pit that, for us Italians, is represented by our Interior Minister Salvini’s political party, Lega.
It is a grave that we dug with our own hands.
Some of us dug to join the deep trenches our left-wing intelligentsia built, time ago, to refuse acknowledging the existence of a population that doesn’t find well-educated, verbally-irreproachable cigar smokers attractive anymore; some others dug because everyone was digging – a very populist approach that many, tired of the same old stupid stories, took; some others dug because they wanted to make a hole big and deep enough we could bury in it any problem or tension we face: women rights, migrants, integration, economy, Europe, climate, etc.
In the end we didn’t want to see and we let him, Salvini, get to the point he can quote history, asking the Italian population to give him “full powers,” like the German parliament, the Reichstag, did on 24 March 1933, with Hitler.
“The Banality of Evil”: a cartoon about haters that wish “buon appetito” to the fishes when yet another shipwreck tragedy happens.
When I saw for the first time signs of the Extinction Rebellion movement I was biking to the office, in Amsterdam. I was in front of the Rijksmuseum, right in the center.
The traffic had been blocked by a group of people, not many, they could have been around 30, maybe even less. They were waving around banners about a revolution that is coming, about the need for rebellion against what’s killing the Earth – ironically, us.
I didn’t give it much credit. Of course I am supportive, but taking to the streets has never really been my thing.
And yet, after that episode, those signs have been multiplying. I started seeing banners and manifestos by Extinction Rebellion, I read about them in the news, I was stopped on a bridge in Maastricht, given some fliers, provided with info on what should be done to stop the catastrophe that’s ahead, for us and our planet.
And then more signs, when this summer heatwaves arrived, together with tornadoes, stone-sized hail, droughts, death, to remind us that a rebellion might be needed indeed, and that everyone must play its part.
I draw political cartoons so that’s what I did, and I perfectly know it’s not – not even by far – enough. But it’s a way, for me, to reflect on the possibility of our extinction from another perspective and better understand how – and if, if – to stop it.
Because in fact, rebelling against extinction doesn’t mean we need to save ourselves, we need to stop our extinction. We need, instead, to save all the other human beings we are killing, first. Save them from us.
“Attack to Democracy”: a cartoon about The New York times deciding to give up on freedom of expression, not publishing political cartoons anymore.
“Brexit tixerB”: a Cartoon About Clueless Brits
🇪🇺 My cartoon “The Right Way to Europe” is in the special issue of the French magazine Courrier international, dedicated to Europe 🇪🇺
Is another Europe, welcoming and forward-looking, possible? I believe it is, but it will take time and it will require a strong and lasting will. Everyone of us can help building it – or rebuilding it, if you want, from the ashes of the shitty racism and the stupid nationalism that are ravaging our continent.
*On a side note, it is a particular emotion to see my cartoon published on such an important and widely read magazine. I’m really happy I got there 😁
“Man of god”: a cartoon about men of go undergoing the law of men
📧The third number of my newsletter ‘Satire Digest – Digest Satire’ is outtttt! 📧
Don’t you want to know what’s in it? Ahhh, the thrill of curiosity that will make you click on the image, read the newsletter and subscribe to it!! I know I know, irresistible! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
When I think about satire, when I think about my satire, when, in fact, I think about making my satire, I don’t talk about it. The process of creating a satirical illustration is clunky, an idea comes in waves – goes and comes and goes again, then I usually doze off – until, in a true “Eureka!” moment, I find my quid and jump at the desk. Or I simply draw a shitty cartoon, frustrated by my own lack of inspiration.
And still I don’t, and won’t, talk about it. I remember inquiring about ideas over a certain topic, asking my mother what she thought about a specific issue. Then leaving the room in anger. The she says “Why do you come asking me every time??” I dunno, she’s my mom ❤️
But I’m a cartoonist, so I’m not a good specimen to be tested to understand if and why we do or don’t talk about satire. Do we? We’ve never been more surrounded by satirical illustration, simply because of the social media and its democratization of creativity. Anybody can draw anything and get pretty much anywhere, especially with a little money to bid.
Satire is: the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues – Google.com
Not only we’ve got plenty of sources to get satire from and talk about it. We’ve also got plenty of topics to be tackled through satire.
It seems, from what I’m writing, that I’m implying we don’t talk about satire, in the end. But we happen to care about it quite a lot. One draws a cartoon that steps over someone’s line and that person gets insulted, banned, hated, even killed. So yes we happen to talk about it, at times. Does it mean we care?
Or we care about ourselves and our pride? So we talk about satire only to complain about the existence of satire as an mean of slander. We talk about Charlie Hebdo because they sometimes exaggerate; we talk about cartoons against Islam because they show no respect toward other cultures. But we don’t talk about the issues that good humor tackles.
But instead no, we talk about satire! Now I’m just trying to work dyalectically, as I am not really sure we do have anything to say about political or editorial cartoons other than undergoing the pure experience of seeing them and considering, in our private brains, the truth they bear.
Maybe the answer is that we don’t really need to talk about any satirical illustration because “Fruitful is only the mute dialogue with our enemies” Cioran said. Therefore, when we “read” a cartoon what we do is challenging a certain reality simply by letting another truth, the one of a subverted satirical universe, get in and talk to us.
Unfortunately that’s not good enough to me. A subverted universe can only present a metaphorical truth, hint to something, wink, if you want, to us. But a satirical work doesn’t actually give any specific info about a topic and implies, instead, to be understood, that we know what the issue at hand is. Therefore, the less informed we are, the less we can understand satire.
So what is needed is a way to present an audience, many audiences, with something more “fleshy”, something that will inspire them, that can be used because it gives knowledge. That can be passed on.
So we should not talk about satire – as I am doing now. The real success of a satirical cartoon must be, in fact, to disappear behind the truth it reveals about a certain topic. The very moment of understaing is the emotion it brings, be it anger or delight, or both at the same time – even better.
We should not talk about satire and we should talk about the subject of satire. And to do so we need to know what we are talking about when we talk about what satire talks about. So what are we talking about when we talk about satire? We are talking about nothing.
Humor belongs to the people.