World speaking out

Right-wing artists and writers hog the spotlight while few know about this brilliant refugee cartoonist

Right-wing cartoonist Bill Leak died recently. He had portrayed same-sex marriage campaigners wearing rainbow-coloured Nazi uniforms, Aboriginal fathers as neglectful and more. He also won nine Walkley awards and 20 Stanley awards, eight gold Cartoonists of the Year, and was twice the winner of News Corps’ award for best cartoonist.

Aussie same-sex marriage campaigner, and brilliant artist, Farid Iqbal  noted, “Bill Leak could not draw. He was not funny or clever. His success was due ONLY to his right-wing political views. Meanwhile, one of the world’s best cartoonists is stuck in Manus Island detention centre. Eaten Fish [as he’s known] is not living any kind of life fit for a human being.”

And just like that, Iqbal captured how the art world, cartoonist, writing, and journalist worlds work. While Trump’s extreme racism and sexism won him excessive media coverage from both mainstream and left-wing publications in the lead up to the US Republican primaries, and then the presidential election, poets are locked-up in Guantanamo, artists are underfed and suicidal in Australia’s system of offshore concentration camps for refugees, women are rarely experts featured in news articles, non-white people are glossed over for book publication, academia is dominated by white males, and working-class art isn’t taken seriously.

Eaten Fish, 24, Iranian, and currently on hunger strike, urgently needs medical attention. He has been locked up on Manus Island for the past 3.5 years, and has been the victim of abuse, sexual assault, and chronic sexual harassment.

Here are some of his drawings.

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