Images, left to right: Hussein Bicar, Sindibâd, 1952, Artist Unidentified, “Return to Palestine” Mîkî, 1964, Fouad Mezher and the Fdz, “The Fifth Column: A Homecoming,” 2013
Currently on show at Bulbul Berlin is the exhibition Arab Comics: 90 Years of Visual Culture.
ARAB COMICS is a travelling exhibition curated by Nadim Damluji and Mona Damluji that explores the question of what, if anything, is distinctly “Arab” about this popular visual medium through three threads of original and translated comics in Arab countries, spanning from 1920s until today.
For close to a century, Arab artists have created comics to reflect on the social and political happenings of their times. In the panels of Arab comics, we find illustrations and stories that creatively engage the British occupation of Egypt, the question of Palestine, the tide of pan-Arabism, authoritarian regimes in Iraq and Syria, commercialization in the Gulf, Civil War in Lebanon, uprisings across the region, and beyond.
The exhibition looks at original comics created during the last century; the ‘Arabizing’ of cultural comic book icons like Mickey Mouse, Superman and Tintin for Arab readers; and recent work by a new generation of Arab artists who are reinventing the expectations of comics about, by and for Arabs worldwide.
ARAB COMICS runs until August 7, at Bulbul Berlin, Görlitzer Strasse 38, 10997 Berlin, Germany.