“(Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan has been dragging Turkey into a dictatorship in broad daylight, before the eyes of the world,” said the world-famous Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff in an interview to online news portal Kronos.
Carlos Latuff, as one of the prominent contemporary artists who blends art with daily politics, has said that “Hard to tell what’s more ‘gruesome,’ but of course, something that touched me as an artist, the war against freedom of speech, jailing of journalists, lawyers, dissidents, and even cartoonists like Musa Kart. A country where satire and humor are unlawful cannot be considered a democracy.”
Underlining the existence of cartoons and topics whose major motivation is aesthetic Latuff said that “However, most of my production deal with politics. In fact, in my work, politics comes first, aesthetic is secondary. Some of my cartoons are more graphically elaborated, others are more simple, but what matters is the message they deliver.”
Assessing the situation in Brazil, Latuff has said that “Not exactly, different from Turkey, we are a young country. Turkey under Erdoğan’s rule has imperial aspirations, trying to revive the times of the Ottoman Empire. Brazil, my poor Brazil, is still a colony, in the past from Portugal and now from foreign economic interests, we have been ruled by an oligarchy, even now in the 21st century, that works to keep Brazil as such.”
As a reply to a question Latuff has also said that “A perfect world would have no political cartoonists because then we wouldn’t have topics to criticize,” and added that “The main reason for a political cartoonist to exist are things like war, conflicts, social inequality. I don’t know what a “peaceful caricature” looks like since we never had real peace in the world and I doubt we will ever have.”