Thursday, March 12, 2009
Sudan and the ICC
With a single image, Tony Auth has managed to sum up many of the problems with the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan. The little old woman—a stand-in for the International Criminal Court (ICC)—waves her cane, from a distance, at Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan, who continues to openly goad the global community while standing on a literal mound of evidence against him. As the cartoon suggests, al-Bashir has defiantly opposed the court’s arrest warrant.
The dark cloud looming in the background behind the president seems even gloomier in the context of Auth’s black and white image. Ir could be smoke from something burning or a fitting backdrop for the atrocities that have been committed during al-Bashir’s presidency. The dark backdrop also represents Sudan’s troubled history or a new, approaching storm.
Although the ICC has only been around since 2002, it is depicted as a frail, old person. Auth may be using the age of the woman as a metaphor to point out the court’s late (aged) response time. Moreover, the viewer should notice the massive collection of human bones underneath al-Bashir. He has amassed such a massive death toll over the years, and it seems improbable, at the moment at least, that a weak figure could apprehend the audacious, noncompliant man on the top of the small mountain of human remains.
--Jeremiah, Kirk, and Chris
Tony Auth’s images appear in The Philadelphia Inquirer and in newspaper syndication nationwide.