cartoons for awareness raising

A cartoon exhibition based on globalization, the environment, and migration opened officially on Thursday at the Italian Cultural Institute. The exhibition features cartoons by Elias Areda, Roman Tadesse, Birhanu Ashagre, and Henok Demissie, four painters.  It is part of the project: “The first Addis International Film Festival.”Being part of the project on a just and sustainable future, the cartoons are supposed to be informative with regard to globalization, migration and the environment. “As we know, more and more individuals and organization in Africa, troubled by trends of  rising social inequality and environmental degradation, are working  to create a just and sustainable future,”  said Khebour Ghenna, president of initiative africa. “In this era of rapid globalization and increasing flow of information, these actors recognize that their  local actions have global consequences, just as global conditions have local repercussions,” he added. 

Cartoons are used to point out socio-political flaws and in the same way, the cartoons on the exhibition were drawn to pinpoint effects of globalization on third world countries, migration, and environmental degradation.

The picture chosen to be the cover is Elias Areda’s cartoon of a globe. On the cartoon, a more-than-half deserted and cracked globe is seen. The rest is covered by the map cover of the globe that is being torn out.

Another interesting cartoon was Birhanu’s, in which the word “Globalization” is written on a computer screen and is written properly being zigzagged and a cursor is shown clicking the EDIT menu highlighting it. It’s drawn to mean that globalization needs readjustment and reconsideration.

Though the cartoons’ role in conveying information is more powerful than   texts, it’s noted that attention should be given by the concerned bodies so as to make use of the medium’s advantage. Even thought the exhibition was opened unusually after three days, the pictures were displayed and, far worse, the guest of honour, who was expected to open the exhibition, wasn’t present.

It’s known that a lot of sponsors participated in the project. But if the exhibition and film screenings couldn’t get viewers and the project is not given the proper attention from the organizers, it would become good for nothing.

By Abiy Solomon

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