Choosy Beggar Books

Kenyan Political Cartoon Graffiti

Posted in International Comics by mvblair on April 10, 2012

Graffiti mocking a politician as being a vulture.

Anonymous artists in Nairobi, Kenya are decorating the streets with political cartoons that protest many of the current leaders in Kenya, showing them as corrupt vultures. The BBC has a photo gallery of the political cartoons here.

Compare these cartoons to more mainstream Kenyan political cartoonists like Patrick Gathara, and you can see that the graffiti artists aren’t far off. Check out Kenya’s The Standard newspaper opinion page and The Daily Nation opinion page for cartoons from other artists in Kenya. Most of the themes in the cartoons center on issues of corruption and vice.

Graffiti, which goes back thousands of years as an art form, is sometimes celebrated and sometimes jeered. There is certainly artistry in a lot of graffiti. At the risk of sounding like an elitist, I suppose there is a difference between “high art” graffiti that has a political or artistic vision and “low art” graffiti. Of course, I don’t want any of it on my walls, so I suppose I’m a bit hypocritical.

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