• Santa Kakese
  • Comics
  • Live: Kinshasa

Santa Kakese: Caricature in virtual public spaces

The young Congolese cartoonist Santa Kakese uses social networks as a distribution platform like many of her artist colleagues of this generation. Offering unlimited circulation, social networks allow artists to participate public life on their own terms.

Caricature, an artistic medium that makes use of freedom of expression, is often humorous and provocative. Highly committed cartoonists are key players on the public scene, and the explosion of social networks has changed their situation. The speed of distribution has multiplied; any drawing is visible anywhere in the world and can circulate instantly.

Santa Kakese also uses social networks as a means of distributing her work. Her caricatures show her personal interpretations of current events and comments on the reality of daily life in the Congo, inviting the reader to awaken a critical mind and to debate. Her drawings are reduced to a few strokes, without superfluous details, simple forms that are easily deciphered by the reader.

As spontaneous reactions to current events, her cartoons circulate on social networks and instantly translate the artist’s concerns and worries in the face of political and social transformations. Thanks to the potential for reaching a wide audience on social networks, her cartoons are a manifestation of citizen engagement.

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Santa Kakese deals with several subjects: the place of women in society, politics, police violence, poverty, religion and human relations in everyday life. Her caricatures are distorted, sometimes even absurd descriptions of life in Congo. But as her images also reflect reality, the artist has gained popularity among a large local following.

Like many of her colleagues in this younger generation of cartoonists and comic artists, she is well versed into new technologies, and social networks are her main distribution platform. These grant artists unlimited circulation and allow them to participate in public life. They create dialogues and debates in virtual public spaces, and they develop new, more open political communication practices.

© Santa Kakese

“I present a young woman who is a fighter in the field of art, she dreams of becoming the best and the biggest in her city while working hard. I encourage us young women in any field to give it our all.” (Santa Kakese)

© Santa Kakese

“They are willing to risk their lives to meet the needs of their families.” (Santa Kakese)

© Santa Kakese

“Here I am talking about the hassle of our drivers who think they are superheroes. And it is this kind of situation that causes traffic accidents.” (Santa Kakese)

More on the Facebook post by clicking on the image or here.

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