In recent times, political cartoonists have faced stern opposition from governments and laws that stifle dissent and profer prison terms. These revolutionary artists help cause social and political change in their societies with their works of art.
Some African cartoonists who have gotten on politicians’ nerves are Tanzania’s Godfrey ‘Gado’ Mwampembwa, South Africa’s Jonathan ‘Zapiro’ Shapiro, Equatorial Guinea’s Ramón Nse Esono Ebale, Egyptian Doaa Eladl and Zimbabwe’s Tony Namate.
A little-known revolutionary artist has surfaced amid the anti-government protests in Sudan where demonstrations have been staged since December last year following the rise in the cost of living directly attributed to President Omar al-Bashir, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders who assumed office after a coup in 1989.
Sudanese artist, Boushra Al-Mujahid, also known as Boushra, has documented the social and political issues in the country through cartoons which are published daily and immediately after a major development.
Boushra is not new to political cartoons and revolutions as his first cartoon exhibition was in Tahrir Square in Cairo with the El Sawy Culture Wheel in Zamalek after the Egyptian revolution of 2011. It was entitled “The Caricature Revolution.”
He has also participated in exhibitions in Gaza and Ramallah and was recognized by the Mahmoud Darwish Museum in Ramallah for his work in support of the Palestinian cause. He participated in multiple efforts supporting the Syrian revolution.
In Sudan, he produces daily cartoons on the protests which have been described as a revolution to end the regime of al-Bashir who is facing calls from students, doctors, opposition leaders and other professionals to resign.
Boushra’s cartoons are published in several media locally and internationally. “The arts are a means of struggle and effective peaceful change. It takes hard work to contribute to positive change movements,” he said.
The artist said he is inspired by the experience of Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al-ali who created the revolutionary caricature figure “Handalah” to document and convey the Palestinian message to the world.
Boushra has participated in several other art exhibitions locally, regionally and internationally including the Arab Culture Festival in Liverpool – reflecting Arab issues to the Western community – the global exhibition in Belgium during the terrorist attacks in Europe, and numerous technical exhibitions in Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, he told Face2Face Africa.
A 2010 graduate of the Sudan University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Boushra Al-Mujahid is an engineer and project manager. He also works as a business development consultant and is an active member of the Sudanese and Egyptian Association of the Caricature.
Married with two children, Boushra has worked for several local newspapers and Arab websites as a cartoonist including Al-Guds website for culture and heritage and Al-Jazeera.
Here are some of the art works he shared with us.