Sheherazade Says No: Artful Resistance in Contemporary Egyptian Political Cartoon

  • Mohamed M. Helmy
  • Sabine Frerichs
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


Taking sociological and psychological functions of humor seriously, this chapter explores the cultural psychology of political cartoon in contemporary Egypt. Political cartoon is approached as a form of art and resistance, in which the artists speak for a ‘cherished community’. In a political system that aspires to democratic ideals, but bears features of an authoritarian system, political cartoonists assume the role of activists. By analyzing what they are fighting for (the constitution), whom they are fighting for (the citizen), and how they picture themselves (as inseparable from their subject matter), we arrive at a view of Egyptian cartoonists as socio-psychoanalysts, who link past, present, and potential futures, share in the pain of their cherished community, and transform it, if only for a moment, into laughter.



Mohamed Helmy was funded by the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation (Finland). We thank xxxxx xxxxxxx for wading through thousands of cartoons, and for expert advice; Deena Samir Dakroury for acting as our contact at Al-Masry Al-Youm; and Shahinaz Hammouda for making the connection.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed M. Helmy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sabine Frerichs
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobiology of Aging and Disease, Lee Kong Chian School of MedicineNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and BusinessViennaAustria

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