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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 9, (KUNA): Caricaturists have been playing a signifi cant role for enhancing electorate’s political awareness ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections due on November 26. Through simple, amusing and satirical works of art that depict realities of a community, caricaturists refl ect deep thoughts and ideas, and smoothly deliver messages to a wide range of the population, that can even change political convictions.
Amid the hectic run-up to the elections, KUNA had separate interviews with a host of caricaturists on the role the art of caricature in reflecting the proceedings of electoral process.
They all agreed that the art of caricature can teach visual literacy like no other form of art does, saying it is a lively satirical of funny representation that in most cases carries pungent criticism or views. It is a strong art that smoothly creeps into people’s minds, and affect their views, positively or negatively, they all said.
The art is essentially effective in the elections, as it touches upon major and sensitive issues, caricaturist Mohammad Al-Thallab told KUNA. The National Assembly (parliament) elections due later this month offer a profound source and inspiration for a caricaturist, who can express people’s concerns and expectations, as well as his own, through simple clear images and comments, that even stir thinking and raise discussions, Al-Thallab added.
Caricature is integral to modern press in Kuwait, he said, noting that the country has hosted several events on the art. He pointed to of serious steps, almost being finalized, to declare the formation of a Kuwaiti caricature association.
The art of caricature plays an effective role in any society, shedding light on issues of concern to the people, caricaturist Mohammad Al-Qahtani told KUNA. It is well employed by caricaturists to deliver specific views, he added. No doubt, caricatures affect voters’ thinking, and decision-making, he said. In this way, they can widely be used as an influential tool to form a public opinion. It is as easy as ever for caricatures to find their way to people, through the media, or even faster through social networking, Al-Qahtani noted.
Caricaturist Basil Buhemid pointed to the intense effect of the art on directing voters. Good caricatures must help people make decisions on who to vote for, depicting certain positive, as well as the negative points of candidates, for instance, he said. Buhemid added that the history of the art of caricature in Kuwait is distinct, compared to other countries in the region. He attributed this fact to the broad range of freedom of speech and expression in the country. Kuwait has welcomed several renowned Arab caricaturists, such as Naji Al-Ali, Bahaa Bukhari, Abdul- Redha Kamal, and Abdul-Salam Maqboul, Buhemid said.
For his part, caricaturist Mohammad Al-Mashmoum told KUNA that the significance of the art of caricature is that it reflects receivers’ thoughts and thinking. It is a light, yet deep art, that spares people the fatigue of reading long articles, and delivers a concept easily and smoothly, with a sense of relaxation, Al-Mashmoum said. Thanks to the breath-taking progress of the media and information technology, the art has been widely spread, exceeding print press to social networking, he said. A caricaturist is a self-monitored artist, who enjoys a strong sense of responsibility as an active member of the society, Al-Mashmoum told KUNA.