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National Museum of Australia

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4

Bomber

Object information

Physical description

Colour illustration.

Statement of significance

The Political Cartooning 2006 collection consists of 128 political cartoons collected under the auspices of the National Museum of Australia's 2005 2007 Political cartooning targeted collecting project and the Behind the Lines 2006 political cartooning exhibition. There are 48 different artists represented in the collection including Alan Moir, Peter Nicholson, John Spooner, Mark Knight, Sean Leahy, Bruce Petty, Cathy Wilcox and Ward O'Neill.

The cartoons provide a satirical record of the major events and personalities in Australian politics and society in 2006. Major topics addressed within the collection include issues such as the Cronulla race riots; Work Choices policy; the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) scandal; Australia's military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands; the continuing threat of global terrorist attacks; the economy; and global warming. Taken together the collection provides a diverse visual archive of Australian political events in 2006 and demonstrates the quality of Australian political cartooning and illustration.

Educational significance

This is a colour illustration by Jock Alexander commenting on the structure and nature of terrorist groups in the early 21st century. It shows a masked person with five bombs strapped around their waist. The bombs are themselves masked people with bombs strapped around their waists, and so on. Further information is available for this resource.

Jock Alexander studied at the National Art School in Sydney from 1974 to 1977. He produced illustrations for Fairfax newspapers for nine years before joining News Limited in 1996.

The rise of decentralised, independent extremist terrorist cells has continued to make news since the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001. Further attacks in Madrid, London, Bali and Mumbai provoked increased fears of protracted and sustained campaigns against key infrastructure targets, leading to increased security measures and police presence in cities throughout the world. Despite the best efforts of military and police forces, terrorist cells continue to carry out attacks.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch and the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Object information

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