Philosophy & Satire.

Week one. Exposure.
Analytical process of keynote presentation> Each keynote> Issues, Concepts, Contexts> 3 Keywords

Martin Rowson – Philosophy and Satire

Martin Rowson is a political satirist and cartoonist. His work appears regularly in the Guardian and elsewhere. Martin will speak about the traditions of drawing and satire in Britain.


Political commentator
Illustrator for magazines and newspapers. Cartoons based of visual satire.

– A form of control
– To make friends
– To keep people in their place – the elite

This is a 300 year old tradition almost. That right through the age of enlightenment. Its journalism, but its used to make you laugh, not serious.
Key things when being a satirist;
– Don’t attack people who are less powerful than you.
– Don’t attack people for what they believe, who they are or opinions they may have.
These images maybe offensive, but not as offensive as what the people in the pictures are usually doing. Such as bankers awarding themselves bonuses when countries who are suffering from natural disasters are receiving a significant amount less in aid they their bonus money.

Debate within the groups, points raised;

Agree with;
– Using humour as weapon, due to people who can’t laugh at themselves are suddenly accused of doing exactly that.
– The images summarise sometimes, whole political debates.
– It puts the people in their place, stops the people at the top getting to big.
– Politics can get extremely serious and sometimes just needs to be lightened up.
– Social networks have started to effect media, news articles now online, does the need for cartoons remain?

Disagree with;
– Propaganda.
– Critical of peoples actions but no actual constructive comments.
– Abusing his position, slander.
– His work is predicable, you can tell it will be something mean.
– Does he even have the right to say this about people.
– How is this a tool for change?
– The work appeals to certain people, a selected demographic.

Main Contextual Issues;

– It puts people in their place and stops people getting to big, I agree with this, I feel that in graphic design the whole discipline seems to take itself far to seriously and needs to step back a bit.
– I also feel that it is just a commentary on the events at the time and that this doesn’t really help suggest what should be done. It is just journalism.

Three Keywords;

- Humour as a weapon
– Politics

– Designers influence


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