Carloss Latuff, brazilian political cartoonist, became famous during the uprising in Egypt. In an interview with Kristin Jankowski the artist talks about solidarity, internationalism and struggles against the system.
A couple of days ago, I’ve passed the Tahrir-Square and a demonstrator held one of your cartoons in his hands – with a big smile on his face. Your art has become a part of the uprisings. Do you think that art can set people free?Carlos Latuff: Only people can set people free. Art will serve them as tools. A revolutionary will use any tools at reach, from cell phones to guns. Art is one of these tools.
You are based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Far away from Egypt. Why is it important for you to cover the current political situation in Egypt ? Why do you care?
Carlos Latuff: I care about Egypt the same way I care about Palestine, where I was in 1999. It’s about internationalism, solidarity with people of the world. Egyptians, Palestinians, Brazilian, in the end, we are all human beings.
How are the current events in Egypt affecting your life?
Carlos Latuff: I tend be attached to movements which I believe in. I take them to a personal level.
The Egyptians claim they want democracy and freedom. But the Army is still in Power. What do you think are the achievements of the uprisings till now?
Carlos Latuff: I believe that Egyptians are there in the streets to stay, I’m sure that their struggle was not for replacing Mubarak’s dictatorship for a military dictatorship. Martyrs didn’t die for nothing. Egyptians will struggle until to reach a full democratic regime.
You became famous in a short time here in Egypt. People are sharing your cartoons at facebook or carrying your art during demonstrations. What is your message to the Egyptians who are taking part in the struggle against the system?
Carlos Latuff: My cartoons are my personal expression of solidarity with them. It’s my way to tell them “I’m with you, heart and soul”.
Carlos Latuff: Many of them. Overthrowing Mubarak didn’t mean that you cleaned up Egypt of all the nasty, corrupt characters.
Some people, especially leftist, are saying the worldwide resistance against the global system of capitalism and injustice has just begun. Do you think the same?
Carlos Latuff: Inshallah!
Artists are mostly dreamers, people full of fantasy. Sometimes their art is a way to digest the cruelty of the world. What are you dreaming of?
Carlos Latuff: I try to put my art not at the service of my own dreams but the dreams of others. I don’t have dreams anymore.
When are you coming to Egypt?
Carlos Latuff: Not anytime soon. SCAF would arrest me once in the airport.