Zunar offers banned works in 1st M'sia solo exhibition

Famed cartoonist Zunar, synonymous with banned comics, today offered an array of his decades-long works at his first solo exhibition in his homeland.

"Most of these works, the public has not seen them before because they are banned by the government.

NONE"So this is a medium for me and the only way people can view them," he told Malaysiakini when contacted.

Zunar (left) whose real name is Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque added that the exhibition would also project a better overall picture of himself as a cartoonist.

"Most of the time, people only get to see what I am doing now but this exhibition is a collection of works since 1999 which includes unpublished works," he said.

Prior to this, Zunar has had held exhibitions in London and Bilbao, Spain.

The local exhibition is themed "fighting through the cartoon" aimed at producing critical cartoon works amidst government censorship.

Patriotism is facing injustice'

"The role of cartoonist is to make change. When a country is facing a moral crisis, it is the responsibility of  a cartoonist to draw against injustice," he said in his opening speech.

He added that Caliph Saidina Ali had said that the highest form of patriotism was to tell the truth in the face of unjust leaders.

"From the Islamic perspective, we need patriotism. It is not how many flags you carry or how many slogans you make but the effort you put in in fighting justice. And for cartoonists, we draw.

Zunar exhibitionZunar added that while fighting injustice was a monumental task, the least people could do was to laugh at it.

"If you cannot beat them, then laugh at them. I welcome people to laugh with me," he said.

He hoped the works would allow people to laugh and at the same time understand Malaysian politics from an alternative perspective.

His cartoons on display include controversial topics like the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shariibuu and the Scorpene controversy.

The exhibition was opened by Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

It will be open daily from 8.30am to 5.30pm until September 9 at the Shah Alam gallery. Entrance is free.

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