Weekend Diversion: Cartoons for Social Justice (Synopsis)

“Everybody wants peace. That’s a truism. There is no point in accomplishing through war what you can accomplish through peace.” -Norman Finkelstein

Say what you will about this world, and there's an artist out there who can say it more effectively without needing to use a single word. For those who can do that, I tip my hat and express my admiration. When it comes to social justice, we're often promised, as KT Tunstall will sing you,


but things still seem to remain the same. Well one artist -- Pawel Kuczynski -- seems to have simply nailed that without the need for a single word.

Image credit: Pawel Kuczynski. Image credit: Pawel Kuczynski.

Using a simple cartoon to illustrate such issues facing our world as social, economic and political injustices, as well as more personal themes like addiction, self-loathing and what we eat, he manages to say more (and to say it more effectively) in a single image than most can say in an arbitrary number of words.

Image credit: Pawel Kuczynski. Image credit: Pawel Kuczynski.

Go explore his fantastic works here, and have a great weekend!

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I gotta admit a lot of that kinda goes over my head. I just don't really get what message is being conveyed when someone's using an angel as a plow. Is it that god creates plants, or god like... motivates farmers to plant things? I know I'm coming across as an idiot here, but single-panel political art usually escapes me. It's just not my bag baby.

I think I did get the one with the book and the TV though. I think it's saying that TV makes people stupid, and books are where it's at. I'm a digital native (in my 30's yes, but I grew up on computers in a decade where computer ownership was relatively rare, but when online access was just becoming available to those PCs that were around) . So, yeah, I disagree with that message. Firstly, what's the big deal about TV? It's all about internet now, and heck, I knew that's where I'd be getting my information anyway. I knew that TV (at least the broadcast at a specific time of day thing) would start to fade. I'm a hip young person who eats my yogurt from a tube, dag-nabbit! (Note: I don't eat my yogurt from a tube...) I guess what I'm saying is that putting it in a book doesn't magically make it vetted and accurate information. It could be a cryptozoology book, or even a work of fiction! Are you saying it's better to read Harry Potter than watch an hour of Al-Jazeera, picture? Answer me picture! (I really had to struggle to find a TV show that was actually informative... That's more an indictment of the industry than a damnation of the medium though...)

Um, anyway, yeah I get your meaning, but art is just way too subjective to say that these are universally understandable images. Further, I'm very suspicious of using education to "resolve" the issue. It seems any "universally taught" interpretation of art would just be stifling, and remove a lot of interpretation FROM a lot of artwork.

By Guy Incognito (not verified) on 04 Aug 2014 #permalink