Ali Farzat Attack and Animated Youtube video

After viewing and discussing many of Ali Farzat’s cartoons, I was inspired to learn more about him. I came across two things that I found very interesting and hoped to discuss as a class.

First, I came across an article, which can be read here, that discuss how Ali Farzat was kidnapped and beaten. The article discusses how Farzat’s hand were broken. It then references another famous cultural figure, singer Ibrahim al-Qashoush, who was found murdered with his vocal chords removed. I was blown away by the way in which theseĀ  attacks were symbolically focused on the means in which the figures question regimes, corruption, and other local issues. Do you guys think the broken hands and removed vocal chords send a stronger retaliatory message? Do you think it results in effective fear or even more anger and uprising?

Second, this article linked to a youtube video, found here, which claims to be an animated version of Ali Farzat’s cartoons. I was very surprised as I watched it, and a few of the other related videos, because to me they seemed very different than the cartoons we saw in class. An addition article, found here, suggests that these animated versions were produced by BBC and Al-Watan (a Kuwaiti newspaper). Do you guys think these animated versions are as effective as Farzat’s traditional cartoons? Why or why not? How does the inclusion of color and sound affect the message?

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1 Response to Ali Farzat Attack and Animated Youtube video

  1. Rachel Ison says:

    I agree with you that these videos seem much different than the cartoons we have been looking at by Ali Farzat. I think one important thing to note though, is that they were made in 2008, whereas, I believe, the ones we have been focusing on in class are more recent images pertaining to the current political climate in Syria. In the videos that I took a look at, it seemed Farzat was commenting more on certain issues like education or children’s rights. In his newer cartoons, they seem to be making a harsher criticism of Bashar Al-Assad and his regime. I certainly think that adding color and motion to the cartoons limits the amount of varying interpretations people can have of them. I personally did not feel they were as effective as the black and white pen drawing of Farzat’s originals. Looking at a single image forces the viewer to think more about and analyze what the cartoon is trying to portray or comment on, thus making it a more memorable message. A video, on the other hand, seems easier to decipher because you can watch as the action unfolds. So, to me, a single image cartoon has a more powerful effect on a viewer.

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