Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/43714

Cartooning History: Lai’s Fiji and the Misadventures of a Scrawny Black CatCartooning History: Lai’s Fiji and the Misadventures of a Scrawny Black Cat

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Title: Cartooning History: Lai’s Fiji and the Misadventures of a Scrawny Black CatCartooning History: Lai’s Fiji and the Misadventures of a Scrawny Black Cat
Authors: Mishra, Sudesh
Keywords: political cartoon
caricature
Fijian history
Pacific Way
religion
LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: University of Hawai‘i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Mishra, S. 2016. Cartooning History: Lai’s Fiji and the Misadventures of a Scrawny Black Cat. The Contemporary Pacific 28 (1): 97-126.
Abstract: For four decades after the country’s independence from Britain in 1970, Laisenia Naulumatua, known as Lai, was Fiji’s preeminent political cartoonist, capturing the volatile history of the nation in panels he sketched for the Saturday edition of the Fiji Times and the Sunday edition of the Daily Post. Lai’s cartoons afford an idiosyncratic overview of the events and agents, large and small, lighthearted and serious, that shaped the nation’s character in the closing decades of the twenti¬eth century. Seldom driven by the livid savagery of the firebrand cartoonist, Lai adopted the casual bystander’s wry approach to representing public events and personalities and included in many of his panels a scrawny black cat to convey the sentiments of the hoi polloi. He tackled social and political ills certainly, but without ill will. In its espousal of the attributes of restraint, equanimity, and mod¬eration, and in its preference for surface levity over piercing gravity, Lai’s oeuvre promotes the middle path of slight and cautious adjustments to daily political and social ructions. This essay discusses Lai’s work in relation to that of his peers and antecedents, locally as well as internationally, and in the context of established theories of the political cartoon.
Pages/Duration: 30 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/43714
ISSN: 1043-898X
Appears in Collections:TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 2016 - Volume 28, Number 1



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