Society & Culture

Karuri: Cartoons Derive its Strength from freedom, I have no Political Affiliation

Sudan Events – Interview by Magda Hassan

The Democracy period opened a public field for me. I focused on political side because it is a cause of problems.

The artist Hashim Karuri comes at the top list of Sudanese artists, he recently won Professor Mahjoub Mohamed Salih Award. But at the same time, he stands on the threshold of internationalism since his drawings surpassed all painters in the Arab world, which qualified him to win the first prize, and his works began to be published in the forefront of newspapers in the United States and Japan. And Turkey. Addition to Arab and Sudanese newspapers. Sudan Events met the great artist and conduct a comprehensive interview with him on his long experience, with its creative and political aspects.:-

Your caricature works present you as a political activist who pleads with caricatures, or as a critic to the prevailing political situation?
I present the caricature as a political activist and I only move this idea to be an alternative to my humble personality.

Should the caricature artist only look at the half-empty glass of the current political reality?
Why do I look at the half-empty cup? I dive into the full cup in order to search for things that only others may see.

Your caricature is an expression of an opinion. Political, enlightenment, is it more than an invitation for entertainment or fun?
The caricature is an expression, an opinion, an issue, and a hope, and the recipient may find himself inside it, meaning he is a partner in this complex space.

What is the potential of such a caricature to make you laugh, which is often the goal of this type of art?
We are not having fun.
We are violently attacking the absurdity of the adults who control our Egypt, with ignorance and crazy screaming.
Do you think that caricatures are not meant to arouse laughter?
Laughter is represented by the audio joke. You may smile at the idea, but there is a touch of sadness within your suppressed feelings.
Did your practice of this art cause any harassment or political problems?
We are always exposed to harassment from people who consider themselves above criticism.
It is a disaster of low morals to the bottom.
Where do you derive your political position from in the cartoon?
My political position is the party of the street and the bloc of the downtrodden simple. I do not belong to the myths of ruined parties. After the coups, I began to hate the military uniform.
Why do you limit yourself to dealing with the political side of life without other aspects, the social ones, for example?
I limit myself to the political sphere because it is the cause of all the country’s misfortunes. They lie and are hypocritical. I want to expose this falsehood to the hidden people.
By the way, Karori seems to many to be a serious and determined person. Shouldn’t a caricaturist be funny and light-hearted?
Yes, I am a sharp and strict person, and it is not necessary for a cartoonist to be funny, and sometimes he may be heavy-handed.
You worked outside the country for a long time. What did exile add to your artistic experience?
My experience outside Sudan was useful despite the different environment. But I broke the barrier of localism to the global idea and won the first prize in the field of cartooning in the Arab world…the Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper Foundation competition.
At one time, a cartoon newspaper, Hey Zul, was published. Why did it not last long?
Zoal newspaper was one of the most successful social newspapers.
It stopped because its management was looking for profit and I was looking for mass circulation.
According to your long experience, the relationship of cartoons to freedom of the press on the one hand and freedom of expression on the other hand?
Caricature derives its strength from complete freedom that does not exist in the Third World.
How do you view the impact of the decline of print press on the art of caricature from your personal experience?
The paper press had the fragrance of place and time, and the cartoon had a splendor that you could sense and love from the perfume of the paper and inks.
The paper newspaper is the beloved that you hold in your hands with all the colors of love and romance in that beautiful time.. But it is necessary to keep pace with digital development as it happens. Now all over the world
How did you find your way into the art of caricature?
The environment on my beautiful island in the north is what opened my way to caricature.
All I saw on this green land was caricature making… smiling faces… sincere and dreaming in the seas of unique human love.
What are the most important events, facts, personalities, or experiences that you believe contributed to shaping your personality?
The period of democracy was what opened the public sphere for me.
It was a rich period in which I discovered myself in a way that I am proud of now
What are your most important achievements in the field?
Many achievements, and it is enough that my works outperformed all the painters in the Arab world with the first award,as I mentioned before, and it also introduced me to the world and its publications. I also worked in Al-Madina newspaper, where I won the Arab Prize, and I worked in the Qatari newspaper Okaz and Al-Watan, the Egyptian cartoon magazine, and also cooperated with Al-Ahram in Cairo.
I had exhibitions in Saudi Arabia and Doha, an internal exhibition in the French Cultural Center, and I participated in the International Cartoon Exhibition in Poland. My works were published in the Washington Post, Japanese and Turkish newspapers, and in most Arab publications.
I was also a collaborator with the Saudi Gazette newspaper, which is published by Okaz Foundation. I will not forget my winning the Supreme Council of Sudanese Press Award and, finally, the Mahjoub Mohamed Saleh Journalism Award 2018.
The senseless experience of war. How did it affect you and your cultural and artistic life? How do you view it from your position as an artist with a special vision and perspective?
This dirty war must stop… and the criminals who started it must be prosecuted.

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