Singapore Political Cartooning

in Asian Journal of Social Science
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Abstract

The lack of research on the history of political cartoons in Singapore and the kind of tradition it has evolved is what prompted this thesis to perform its rudimentary search through 36 years of The Straits Times (1959-1995) in a basic attempt to fill in some of the gaps. It has taken upon itself to identify the trends - thematic and stylistic - of this tradition, by looking at the political context behind the cartoon's production. The assumption here is that the kind of tradition an art form has evolved can be understood by studying it from a historical viewpoint, that is, from its political context. A political cartoon is more than just a summing up of the day's issues. In Singapore, it has a consensus-shaping role as well. It reflects the times and political space and how things are run here. That is why its history is important to any society.

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