Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Cartoons

Year’s Best Cartoons 2003

Behind the Lines is a selection of the top works entered in the National Museum of Australia’s 2003 Political Cartooning Competition and is part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This exhibition reflects on 2003 with the wit and humour of Australia’s most imaginative political critics. The exhibition provides a fascinating survey of the major events of 2003 that were shaping Australia. The exhibition features over one hundred works by Australia’s sharpest wits: Sean Leahy, Bill Leak, Matthew Martin, Ron Tandberg, Cathy Wilcox, Alan Moir, Michael Atchison, Judy Horacek, Peter Nicholson, Geoff Pryor and Mark Knight. The most turbulent moments of the public life are satirised including: Liberal and Labor leadership battles; John Howard’s decision to remain Prime Minister; the Governor General’s resignation; Pauline Hanson’s imprisonment; the treatment of asylum seekers; 58,000 sheep stranded in the Middle East; and the division of Australian society over the war debate.

‘Starring’ in the exhibition are John Howard, Pauline Hanson, George Bush, Peter Costello, Simon Crean, Philip Ruddock, Kim Beazley, Mark Latham, Peter Beattie, Tony Abbott, Bob Carr et al.

Australians have always enjoyed a love-hate relationship with their politicians and political satire is an important part of our culture. Australian cartoonists, armed with a healthy supply of cynicism, are often regarded as the best in the world; respected and admired even by the politicians whom they send up.





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