The iconography of decolonisation in the cartoons of the Suez Crisis, 1956
in Comic empires
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This chapter explores how British, French, and Egyptian cartoonists engaged with the Suez Crisis of 1956. It observes how, in pursuing their craft, the likes of Pol Ferjac, Leslie Illingworth, and Zahdi al-’Aduwi dug deep into the rich reservoir of icons from the high age of imperialism (such as Britannia and Marianne, the British lion, historical analogies, and well-known literary references). It also shows how both those celebrating empire, and those critical of its costs, reappropriated and recrafted older imperialist imagery to convey new meanings. In this, they drew on the history of their own publications (appropriating imagery from past iterations of Punch, Le Canard enchaîné, and Ruz al-Yusuf), and the fact that the maudlin humour of such reappropriations helped readers to cope with the changing political realities that in turn impacted on their national and imperial identities.

Comic empires

Imperialism in cartoons, caricature, and satirical art

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