Dating back to Benjamin Franklin and the famous “Join or Die” artwork created for the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754, cartooning has often provided a platform for artists and writers to express themselves, not only through political cartoons but comic strips, posters, and animation as well.

This event will explore the use of comics as a means of social and political protest and as a way to tackle injustice. Join our inspiring panel of outspoken artists and activists: Shubbak Festival artists, Deena Mohamed and Joseph Kai, and award-winning cartoonist Steve Bell, best known for the daily strip If…, which has appeared in the Guardian since 1981.

About The Host

Aaqil Ahmed

Aaqil is the former Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC and Channel 4, delivering many award-winning programmes, including The Life of Muhammad. He is also Professor of Media at Bolton University, Non-Executive Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a consultant in Television production, communications and diversity.


About The Speakers

Joseph Kai

Joseph Kai is a comic book author. His style favors a delicate line and an introspective tone, a merger of a traditional French-Belgian style and an experimental Beiruti tendency. At the moment, he’s working on his new graphic novel “Sissies” at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris where he lives.


Deena Mohamed

Deena Mohamed is an Egyptian illustrator and designer. Her first webcomic was ‘Qahera’ about a Muslim Egyptian superhero that addresses social issues such as islamophobia and misogyny. Her debut graphic novel, ‘Shubeik Lubeik’ was awarded Best Graphic Novel and the Grand Prize of the Cairo Comix Festival (2017.)


Steve Bell

Steve bell is an English political cartoonist, known for his left-wing views. During his early career his work was featured in many children’s comics but from 1981 he wrote and drew for the Guardian at which point won numerous awards for his humorous political illustrations. Steve’s work has now been televised and published around the world.