Bringing Change Through Laughter: Cartooning in Kenya

Patrick Gathara and Mary Kabura Wanjau

in Media and Identity in Africa

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780748635221
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653010 | DOI:
Bringing Change Through Laughter: Cartooning in Kenya

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Popular culture can both entertain and contribute to social change. Cartoons and comics constitute a pop-cultural tool of visual communication that is gaining in popularity and use. The modern daily newspaper strip and political cartoon participates in what is, in fact, an ancient art form and mode of expression. Cartoon images are generally impressionistic and economical, communicating through the visual invocation of experience shared by both the creator and the intended audience. The visual presentation constitutes a kind of shorthand, allowing the cartoonist to alternately raise questions, make statements, appeal and persuade. This chapter discusses the cartoonist's toolkit, a brief history of political cartooning, cartooning in Kenya and comics as tools of social change.

Keywords: social change; popular culture; comics; cartoonists; political cartoons

Chapter.  3479 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies

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