Friday, April 24, 2009

History and Present-day of Sudan Cartoon by Talal Nayer

by Talal Nayer

Sudanese cartoon now is comparatively modern. Sudan knew this art since 1821 when the Turkish army occupied the country.
They brought with them the stories and tales of The Near East, charters of these stories and tales speared widely, among these characters was "Juha". Many countries have similar charters, for example in Iran and Azerbaijan we find "Molla Nasreddin", in Turkey we find Naserddin Khoja.
The stories and jokes of these characters spread widely among poor people in the towns and villages, generations pass them to generations. After occupation of Sudan by Britain and Egypt in 1898 Sudanese newspapers like Alsudan Alhadeeh, Alhadara, Alfajar published cartoons from English and Egyptian newspapers especially from The English Magazine "Punch", but at that time there was no Sudanese cartoonist.
The first cartoonist in Sudan "Ez Alddin Osman (1933-2008) started his work in 1959 in "Alakhbar" newspaper, and then he transferred to "Alray Alaam", "Alayam" and "Alsahafa" newspapers.
In the early of 1980`s "Ez Alddin" had been banished to Emirates for ten years because one of his cartoons against the Minster of transports in the government of the ex-president Gaffer Numaery .When he returned back to Sudan in 1986 he continued his work with "Al telegram" ,Nabbed Alkarikaeer" and "Alsharie Alsyasi" Newspapers .
He retired and stopped his drawing cartoons in 2005.
"Ez Alddin Osman had a great influence on the Sudanese politics and society. He had a great ability in creating public opinion. Ismail Alazahari the first Sudanese Prime Minster after Independence in 1956 was accustomed to start his day by reviewing Ez Alddin Osman`s cartoons.
His cartoons discussed in markets, streets and offices, some of his works became famous jokes in Sudan told even today.

Ez Alddin Osman (1933-2008)

Cartoon art in Sudan reached it's climax point in 1994 when "Nabbed Alkarikaeer" or "Cartoon Pulse" the first Sudanese cartoon newspaper. After that many cartoon newspapers published like "Alawail", "Alam Alazkeya", "Donya Alkarikaeer" and Alam Alcomdia".
All these specialist newapers supposed to be a strong base for this art nourishment, but unfortunately most of them stopped publication, now there is only "Nabed Alkarikaeer" and "Alawail" are published.
Nabbed Alkarikaeer in 1995 was the first Sudanese newspaper in distribution it exceeded all newspapers even the political one and there are more than 14 cartoonists. Now it has only two cartoonists , the space of cartoons is decreased too much , most cartoonists stopped working in newspapers because of poor salaries paid for them .In Sudan now is about 35 daily newspaper , cartoonists work within their staff is only eight , four of them work in political newspapers .
This situation resulted from the fact that publishers do not allow cartoonists to publish their works especially the beginners. Even mature and experienced cartoonists have no chance to publish their works and their salaries are very poor. One of the problems of cartoon art in Sudan is security censorship which removes any work critiques political, social and economical situation.
Another problem, Sudanese cartoonist has no any organization to protect them and to improve this art. All efforts to improve this art in Sudan are individual; the state does not give any attention for cartoon art in Sudan.
The future of cartoon in Sudan is in danger, the number of cartoonist is continuously reduced , few of them take cartoon as a basic job , most of them have other jobs .
Future will witness no cartoons on the Sudanese newspapers.
Ez Alddin Osman had planted the first seed of cartoon art in Sudan, but this tree will die if no one takes care of it.
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