Ranan Lurie cartoon competition: Sabat, African tsunami

December 22, 2006

 

Most readers here are from the United States. I wager you didn’t see this cartoon when it was first published:

Tsunami, 2006 Lurie Award winner, Alberto Sabat, La Nacion, Argentina

This cartoon won the 2006 Ranan Lurie Award for editorial cartooning, an international competition supported by the United Nations Correspondents Association (other 2006 winners here). The title of the cartoon is “African Tsunami.”

The cartoonist is Alberto Sabat, the cartoon was published in La Nacion in Argentina. The award is named after the outstanding cartoonist Ranan Lurie, who himself was once nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his cartoons that promoted peace and understanding.

Political cartoons make classrooms interesting, and often provoke students to think hard and talk a lot about things they should be thinking and talking about. These links provide more sources of classroom material — please remember to note copyright information.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Reclaiming Space.

Update, December 2007: 2007 Lurie Awards announced; my post here, all the 2007 winners at the Lurie Awards site here.

Update, December 2008:  2008 awards post.

Update December 2009:  2009 awards listed here.

Share this post:

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

 


Carl Sagan

December 22, 2006

I’m a day behind — but, that just makes it more like real history, no?

Carl Sagan & Mars Viking Lander, NASA JPL photo

Carl Sagan and the Mars “Viking” Lander, NASA/JPL photo

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Carl Sagan’s death. Several bloggers are blogging to commemorate his memory.

I’ll borrow wholesale; John Pieret at Thoughts in a Haystack pulled out a passage from Sagan’s book, Demon-Haunted World, that has rung true for me. Here it is:

Pieret wrote: For this passage (pp. 414-15), Sagan begins by discussing George Orwell’s 1984 and its roots in Stalinism:

Soon after Stalin took power, pictures of his rival Leon Trotsky — a monumental figure in the 1905 and 1917 revolutions–began to disappear. Heroic and wholly anhistoric paintings of Stalin and Lenin together directing the Bolshevik Revolution took their place, with Trotsky, the founder of the Red Army, nowhere in evidence. These images became icons of the state. You could see them in every office building, on outdoor advertising signs sometimes ten stories high, in museums, on postage stamps.

New generations grew up believing that was their history. Older generations began to feel that they remembered something of the sort, a kind of political false-memory syndrome. Those who made the accommodation between their real memories and what the leadership wished them to believe exercised what Orwell described as “doublethink.” Those who did,not, those old Bolsheviks who could recall the peripheral role of Stalin in the Revolution and the central role of Trotsky, were denounced as traitors or unreconstructed bourgeoisie or “Trotskyites” or “Trotsky-fascists,” and were imprisoned, tortured, made to confess their treason in public, and then executed. …

In our time, with total fabrication of realistic stills, motion pictures, and videotapes technologically within reach, with television in every home, and with critical thinking in decline, restructuring societal memories even without much attention from the secret police seems possible. What I’m imagining here is not that each of us has a budget of memories implanted in special therapeutic sessions by state-appointed psychiatrists, but rather that small numbers of people will have so much control over news stories, history books, and deeply affecting images as to work major changes in collective attitudes.

We saw a pale echo of what is now possible in 1990-1991, when Saddam Hussein, the autocrat of Iraq, made a sudden transition in the American consciousness from an obscure near-ally — granted commodities, high technology, weaponry, and even satellite intelligence data — to a slavering monster menacing the world. I am not myself an admirer of Mr. Hussein, but it was striking how quickly he could be brought from someone almost no American had heard of into the incarnation of evil. These days the apparatus for generating indignation is busy elsewhere. How confident are we that the power to drive and determine public opinion will always reside in responsible hands?

Good things for historians to ponder.


%d bloggers like this: