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Thoughts on Nuclear Kamasutra

Last week we reported a cartoon from Portuguese cartoonist Vasco Gargalo was removed from Facebook, most likely due to its explicit sexual content. The cartoon, titled 'Nuclear Kamasutra', shows Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in various sexual poses.

Although we still firmly believe it is not the role of Facebook to censor social satire, we came across this thoughtful piece by Philip Ellis, written for INTO.

It's a good article because it raises a series of valid questions and concerns that cartoonists face in their choice of symbols and analogies when they want to ridicule and criticize power:

'Ideologically dangerous figures like Mike Pence, Vladimir Putin, and, of course, Donald Trump, are sketched out in all kinds of gay scenarios, ranging from the campy (Trump and Putin astride a unicorn) to the sexually graphic (Gargalo’s aforementioned “Nuclear Kamasutra”). The point, supposedly, is to humiliate these men, to remove at least some of their power by making them objects of derision. Except doing so requires us to laugh at the mere idea of them engaging in homosexual acts, which is problematic for a number of reasons.'

We do recommend you go read the full article, because its food for though for all cartoonists. What weapons do you use to ridicule power, and are you sure those weapons are pointed in the right direction?

The only thing we're not sure of is if the author asked Vasco Gargalo permission to publish his work.

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