Monday, June 22, 2009

Carlos Latuff on DDS

Carlos Latuff–yes, the controversial Brazilian political cartoonist–has made a cartoon on Davao Death Squad and the public’s response to the mayhem this ghostly group is sowing.

Actually, it was I who told him to make one. Our correspondence started when I used one of his cartoons as a logo for Silence Kills!, a blog dedicated to the issue of extrajudicial killings.

Since his cartoons are copy-left (his phrase, not mine), which means anyone can use them with or without permission, I e-mailed Carlos informing him that I’d be using his cartoon Silence Kills as a profile photo of the blog.

He replied:

My dear Philipinian brother,

Thanks a lot for your feedback. You are not only allowed to reproduce this cartoon in particular as any other you may think relevant. My art is your art. And, in the future, if you need any special cartoons for an activity or something, just tell me and I will make one specially for ya.

All the best,

And tell him I did. “What image comes to your mind regarding this issue?” he asked, adding “Try to describe this image…”

I replied:

Here’s the image I have in mind: A crowd cheering over the death of hundreds of criminals allegedly killed by Davao Death Squad. This image is rather like the image you made in which you depicted Alan Dershowitz masturbating when Lebanese are seen dead on TV.

Hence the cartoon above. I love it! It powerfully captures the situation here: When someone’s killed by the DDS, don’t some of us feel happy, overtly or covertly, that the criminals are already gone, and we could now walk along the city streets, even during the night, without fear of having our bags snatched or being knifed for a few hundred pesos?

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