Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cartoons published in Harpers

When the whole Mohammad cartoon controversy was in full broil, it passed my mind that eventually libraries would have to obtain a copy of the cartoons so that future historians, communication studies folks, and just the plain curious would be able to see for themselves what caused the riots, the deaths, and the handwringing in early 2006.

The trouble was that no one was publishing the cartoons in North America. Sure, you could find the cartoons on the Internet but how could you be sure that you were seeing what was actually published in the Jyllands-Posten? Recall that many of the images circulating the Middle East during that time which were proported to be from the Danish newspaper were actually collected from neo-Nazi groups, eager to fuel the fires of hatred.

Sure, a thumbnail of page three of Jyllands-Posten's culture section from September 30, 2005 is available on Wikipedia, but that image has been slightly altered. One cartoon's Danish caption has been replaced with one that has been translated into English. And I know this because the June 2006 issue of Harper's Magazine has published a thumbnail of said page in an article entitled "Drawing Blood: Outrageous Cartoons and the Art of Outrage" by Art Spiegelman.

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