March 07, 2008

Shooting the witness

Shooting the Witness is an exhibition featuring the work of the late Palestinian cartoonist, Naji al-Ali, to commemorate 60 years to the Palestinian Nakba and the 20th anniversary of al-Ali’s assassination in London.

Naji al-Ali was one of the most prominent cartoonists in the Arab world. Sarcastic, poignant and perhaps too bold, al-Ali's cartoons were drawn from his experience as a Palestinian refugee from childhood and clearly reflected his political stance. Naji al-Ali had no political affiliations and the absence of slogans and dogma in his work brought both success and criticism. His bold and illustrative cartoons, widely published over the past 20-30 years, reveal the tragic state of the Middle East. The artist combined art and political satire like none other; his work sadly still rings true today.

His cartoons portrayed the bitter struggle and plight of the Palestinian people against Israeli oppression. He also campaigned against the absence of democracy and the gross inequality in the Arab world, and the widespread corruption of Arab leaders and their alliances with colonial superpowers against the interests of their people. Naji al-Ali draws a sincere critique of all sides in the conflict, and the world's complicity in the prolonged occupation of the Palestinians, in simple, mesmerizing lines. He was said to have antagonized virtually everyone in the Middle East.

During his lifetime, Naji was said to have drawn around 15,000 drawings, on average two cartoons a day. He worked for various prominent publications in the Arab world, including the Al-Safir, Al-Qabas and Al-Khalij; his work was published daily in Cairo, Beirut, Kuwait, Tunis, Abu Dhabi, London and Paris.

For the first time in London, 50 of Naji al-Ali’s original illustrations will be exhibited in Political Cartoon Gallery, located in central London, the world’s only centre dedicated to political cartoons and caricature.

The Exhibition:

Shooting the Witness exhibition will showcase 50 original art works of the late Naji al-Ali over a period of period of 6 weeks, starting from 7th March 2008. The works are thematically arranged to cover Middle Eastern political topics such as oil in the Arab world, women, political prisoners, Arab leaders and Palestinian refugees.

Venue: The Political Cartoon Gallery
The Political Cartoon Gallery is the world’s only centre dedicated to Political Cartoons and Caricature. Only at the Political Cartoon Gallery can you purchase the finest original cartoons by leading political cartoonists from both the past and the present.

Opening hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 9:30am – 7:30pm
Saturday: 11:30am – 5:30pm

32 Store Street,
London WC1E 7BS

The gallery is located in London’s West End, close to Goodge Street Station, Tottenham Court Road and only 10 minutes walk from Oxford Circus.

Tel: 0207 580 1114

Shooting the Witness
is organized in association with
Political Cartoon Society, Cartoon County and the family of Naji Al-Ali


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