Khalid Albaih’s conversation about his ongoing work with political cartoons shined light into how people in the Middle East are reacting to the ongoing climate and how effective, yet simple, drawing cartoons is for freely expressing opinions and thoughts. Although the concept of drawing images to express opinions precedes long before the twenty-first century, the combination of these drawings with technology transform its prior utilization. Albaih’s ongoing work may be foreshadowing the most efficient and effective way to begin a revolution: Art and social media. Art’s universalness already makes ideas more accessible, but launching this on the Internet, namely social media, completely enhances attempts to revolutionize.
As Albaih highlighted, freedom of speech is unheard of in many parts of the world. However, art complicates the government’s ability to directly point to violations against their law. As illustrated in Albaih’s cartoons, hidden messages can be conveyed through intricate art, and his work’s meaning is up to the interpreter his- or herself. This makes art an easy segway to get ideas and feelings across without directly violating the country’s law. Moreover, it allows the audience, often average individuals, see what they want to see and is also accessible; no formal education is required, only being aware of the surroundings is. This has been a custom for centuries, and Albaih carries on this wonderful tradition.
Moreover, combing art’s accessibility with technology revamps the entire process. Albaih can easily upload his cartoon to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and can capture the attention of thousands of people from all over the world. This viral component not only educates individuals from different countries, but also enhances accessibility for residents of relevant countries; these cartoons are not restricted to the cities where revolutions often take place, but also to rural locations and small towns where they can now feel part of the revolution too. Furthermore, as Albaih mentioned, even countries who are undergoing similar revolutions can now share these ideas, and these movements can combine and empower all involved. This act is completely unique of the twenty-first century, and given the increasing connectedness of the world, will likely continue to escalate and transform the way revolutions begin and spread.
Albaih’s efforts, albeit may seem simple, have the capability to change ideas and bring people together to revolutionize. Platforming art onto social media, and using this to generate opinions and make change is a basic yet completely effective process. Albaih’s work is likely the beginning of a core component to revolutions in the twenty-first century.