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CARTOONS have often been a source of controversies in many nations. Satiric jokes in the form of comedic images have offended people, often to the point of anger and retaliation. In 2015, France’s satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo became the target of shooting after it published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The attack killed dozens, including the cartoonist. A decade before, in 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published an editorial cartoon depicting Muhammad as well, leading to international protests from Muslim communities. In Southeast Asia, things are not that much different. Three years ago, hundreds of supporters of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) swarmed the office of Tempo in Jakarta. They protested a political cartoon in the magazine which they claimed insulted their leader. Southeast Asian’s growing democracy did not come with freedom of speech for its cartoonists. The police have arrested some of them, and many work under fear of persecution. In light of the situation, Malaysia’s political cartoonist Zunar and non-profit organization Hujah Ehsan are holding an online exhibition of the ASEAN Human Rights Cartoon Exhibition from May 3 to 30. The exhibition, titled Human Rights at the Homeland, features 100 critical cartoons by 37 cartoonists from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar.
The pandemic brought changes to the arts in Indonesia in 2020. Many art events had to be delayed or even cancelled. Slowly, artists have bounced back. They began adapting the pandemic, refusing to be kept down. Despite the limitations imposed by the situation, artists have continued to put forward their best work—in part by utilizing digital technology as their medium. This new phenomena, which has impacted the world of arts, was taken into consideration when selecting and discussing the nominees before making decisions about Tempo’s choice for outstanding artists and artworks for 2020.
An aerial photo of floods that inundated residential areas in Asera subdistrict, North Konawe Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, Tuesday, June 11. Thousands of homes in five villages in the Asera subdistrict are submerged in a flashflood. The North Konawe Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency data shows that Tapuwatu village suffers the worst calamity that all houses in that area are submerged and none of them can be seen from the surface of the water.
TO Aida Begic, Never Leave Me is more than just a film.