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Linking Young Minds Together
  Volume 6 | Issue 23 | June 10, 2012 |


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Youth in Action

Cartoon by Shahanara Nargis Shikha

----------Say It All

Promiti Prova Chowdhury

Last week, the cartoon exhibition and competition titled 'Gach Lagao! Gach Bachao!!' (Plant Trees! Save Trees!) at Dhanmondi's Drik Gallery became the centre of attraction among art aficionados and young students all over the city. The gallery buzzed with a colourful crowd who came to see the cartoons made by young cartoonists. On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2012, Unmad, the popular satire magazine, organised the cartoon exhibition and competition as part of their awareness campaign. Travel and Fashion, the magazine on tourism, environment and fashion financed the event. 30 cartoonists participated in this initiative.

The three-day long exhibition started on June 1, 2012. On the last day -- June 3 -- eminent portrait photographer Nasir Ali Mamun dropped by at the exhibition. “In a poor country like ours where the literacy rate is so low, cartoons can be a very effective medium to spread vital messages to the society," remarked Mamun. I congratulate Unmad and Ahsan Habib for taking such an initiative.” The cartoons demonstrated hazardous effects of destroying trees.

Along with cartoons made by the existing cartoonists of Unmad, some new entries were also exhibited, which were picked from the entries made by the readers of Unmad. Syed Rashad Imam (Tanmoy), Cartoonist of The Daily Sun said, “Making cartoons requires a lot of thinking. With a central theme, you can make cartoons with anything and everything related to it. Cartoons are not abstract. People directly and very easily can connect with them.” He had ten cartoons portrayed in this exhibition.

Cartoon by Mehedi Haque

Md Anisul Kabir, Associate Editor, Travel and Fashion said, “We work for nature and environment. So why not use the powerful human resource of cartoonists we have in Unmad for spreading this awareness?” Shahnara Nargis Shikha won the Best Cartoonist title of this competition, who is a regular cartoonist of Unmad. Currently she is working in Rosh+alo, a weekly supplement of the daily Prothom Alo. She had three cartoons displayed in the exhibition.

While some cartoons would make the viewers think, others would make them laugh out loud. One cartoon showed apes, ants, birds and snakes chanting in front of a house, “Gach kaita falaicho, ebar amgore thakar jayga dao! (As you have cut down all the tress, provide us with accommodation!)”. Another had a man walking on the barren earth with an oxygen mask. Satirical elements like, an axe refusing to cut trees, broken pieces of trees dreaming of leaves, buildings giving check and mates to the trees on a chess board, dreadful monster of industrialisation and much more were used in some of the wonderful pieces.

Cartoon by Arafat Karim

Alongside cartoons, small singing sessions added vibrancy to the ambience. With guitars, Shovvota and Saad, two young musicians entertained the crowd with their singing. Ahsan Habib, Publisher and Editor of Unmad shared, “People in our country like humour. So it is best to use them for spreading a message and creating a strong impact. We have upcoming activities as well. We will hold this exhibition in other districts in the upcoming days.”

A total of 62 cartoons were on display. Overall the exhibition was a blend of humour, creativity and insights.

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