Political cartoons can encapsulate complex issues, different viewpoints and some of the contradictions that are often part of reality.  They do not simply take sides.  They can be a particularly valuable resource for development education / global learning.

Thin Black Lines brings together a wide range of cartoons from different parts of the world.  It features different cartoon-styles, the work of particular cartoonists and a brief history a political cartooning.  It sets out to encourage people to exploit the potential of political cartoons to stimulate awareness of global issues.  [Click cover to review]  

A word of warning!  Don't use cartoons if you see education in general, or development education in particular, as a process of endorsing certain "acceptable" ideas or viewpoints and rejecting others, rather than as a means of exploring and debating ideas and opinions … and enabling people to make up their own minds. 

Each section of the book includes a collection of cartoons linked to a theme issue.  It is suggested that their value as as stimulus to learning will be enhanced by building up skills in “reading cartoons”.  There are also suggestions for learning activities that can be adapted to use with contemporary cartoons.  Some of the cartoons are ‘timeless’ others link to specific events and/or people in 1988 when the book was first published.

See also Thin Black Lines Rides Again [link] developed in partnership with Cartoonists and Writers Syndicate, New York.

Downloadable materials

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