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Anti-ISIL cartoons and caricatures on show in Tehran


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Anti-ISIL cartoons and caricatures on show in Tehran

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Cartoons and caricatures depicting the self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group – and the international fight against it – have gone on show in Tehran.

Organisers say the exhibition, recently held at the Palestine Museum of Contemporary Arts, features work of artists from more than 40 countries.

The pictures have been selected as part of a competition, which aims to highlight the actions of ISIL, also known as ISIS.

“Artists have tried to unveil the hidden and visible goals of ISIS for their audiences,” said journalist Reza Ghobeishavi.

“These caricatures can make society aware of the violence and motives of this extremist group, and reduce the impact of propaganda as well.”

Some of the exhibits make visual references to Saudi Arabia and America. The US is leading a coalition fighting militants in Iraq and Syria.

ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is also depicted in the exhibition.

The Iranian “House of Cartoon,” which organised the competition, says showing such work can be risky.

“One or two Iranian cartoonists were threatened,” said Massoud Shojai Tabatabai, Director of House of Cartoon.

“There were artists from Arab or western countries who had to participate under a pseudonym due to security problems, which they could have faced.”

Those behind this exhibition say they are keen to promote a culture of resistance. They also want to bring the work of artists from Iran and other countries together, with the aim of creating dialogue.

“What we worked on here is a matter which is upsetting for the whole world. Anybody, with any belief and ideology, is saddened by these brutalities,” said caricaturist Amir Dehghan.

“We did our best to show the absurdity of ISIS and its supporters’ claims, and honestly, to me, ISIS itself is a caricature.”

Exhibition visitor Sepehr Abravesh commented: “A picture can depict a subject without words. It might be impossible to put the crimes of ISIS into thousands of words. But you can easily show it in a picture, which is understood by all, either illiterate or intellectual.”

Organisers say they are now planning to take this anti-ISIL exhibition to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. There is also an online version.

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