free revolution zone Khalid A. Ali (Khalid Albaih), Oak Human Rights Fellow (Colby College)

Sept. 27 at 7:00 in Lovejoy 100

From Facebook pages to Whatsapp forwards, the internet and social media helped pave the way to the Arab Spring ongoing revolutions.

Khalid Albaih, a political cartoonist from Sudan, is the 2016 Oak Fellow at Colby. Albaih uses his daring, often biting cartoons to champion freedom of expression and democracy in the Arab world, while criticizing Western Islamophobia and U.S. practices including torture and drone attacks.

Albaih draws simple but evocative images that are primarily displayed online. Many of those images have gone viral, earning him international recognition. Huffington Post mentions him first in its list of the world’s leading Arab cartoonists.

During the Arab Spring uprising in 2011, Albaih’s images were turned into stencils and reproduced on city walls in Cairo and Sana’a. He acquired thousands of followers on his Facebook site (“Khartoon!”—a play on his artistic medium and his former home in the capital of Sudan). His work also has appeared in exhibitions in Vienna, London, Montreal, Detroit, Bahrain, and The Hague and has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times and Al-Jazeera.

The son of a diplomat and a social justice activist, Albaih was born in Romania and grew up in Sudan and Qatar, where he now lives. He received a B.A. in interior design engineering from the Ajman University of Science and Technology and worked as a graphic designer and multimedia specialist before becoming head of installations and design for public art in Qatar Museums Authority.

Albaih, who helped create the Khartoum Contemporary Art Centre, is now unsafe in his homeland, where his satirical cartoons have upset members of the authoritarian regime and precipitated threats on his life.

Student Discussions

  • Revolutionary Cartoons October 31, 2016 Jeremiah BurnsBefore Khalid Ali’s lecture on his artwork, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about how a political cartoon can have potency in a revolutionary context. However, ...
  • Courage Power and Publishing October 31, 2016 Matthew HoffmanThis was easily my favorite discussion so far because not only was it extremely applicable to the present, not just because the material was so applicable to the present and ...
  • Virtual Revolutions October 29, 2016 Nicholas ArchibaldKhalid A. Ali’s Q & A was by far my favorite of the presentations so far in this course. His discussion on the impact of social media in contemporary revolutions ...
  • A Social (Media) Revolution October 25, 2016 srkohliThe Arab Spring was a violent, frightening, yet uplifting period of revolution in The Arab world that lasted for more than a year. Filled with numerous civil wars and protests, ...
  • How to Spread Idea’s October 11, 2016 William ReynoldsFacebook is changing the way humans receive news. As the new generation grows up in the internet age, and forms habits based on current technologies, Facebook becomes the base camp ...
  • Means of Mediums October 11, 2016 Landon BarrerasThe art of communication is one of the most important dynamics concerning the connection between individuals. You could argue that without proper communication civilizations wouldn’t be able to exist. With ...
  • Just Do It October 10, 2016 PokemonHunterNo matter how much I’m doing, I never feel like I’m doing enough. I always think about everything that I could be doing instead of focusing on how full my ...
  • The Paradigm Shift from Darwin October 10, 2016 Caitlin LawlorJanet Browne began the discussion by noting that Darwin himself foresaw the rise of the revolution that would stem from his discoveries. He “dimly a revolution in ...
  • Chaos, Art, and Other Thoughts on Observing a Volcano October 10, 2016 Ben TheyerlSome years are more important than others.  That’s just the way history works. 1945AD, 0AD, the ones where something so monumental to the way humans after will live happens that ...
  • Black hat chat rooms October 8, 2016 TheoThe Internet is a black hole. You can do anything on the Internet, from gambling, to TV, to reading. You can find anything on the Internet, from groceries, to cars, ...