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Black and White in Ink: Discourses of Resistance in South African Cartooning

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image of African and Asian Studies
For more content, see Journal of Asian and African Studies.

ABSTRACT This author contends that cartooning in its various forms in South Africa played an important role in crystallising issues of allegiance and identity, introducing revolutionary concepts into public discourse, undermining the ideological hegemony of the apartheid state and legitimating the political struggle against apartheid. However, in spite of the fact that numerous black newspapers have subsisted to this day, there remains a dearth of black cartoonists in South Africa. The vexing question of why so few black cartoonists have emerged demands an answer. The villains of the piece appear to be the editors of the socalled 'liberal' newspapers who did nothing (and continue to do very little) to identify indigenous cartooning talent or promote the development of black South African cartooning, choosing rather to share the services of a few white cartoonists and to buy syndicated comic strips. Mason analyses this situation and offers a remedy for solving the problem.


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