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Cartoons Worth a Thousand Words

by Jirair Tutunjian — Toronto, Canada, January 30, 2016.

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 08:54 PM UT

“The volume’s incisive political cartoons explore topics such as Armenian Genocide denial, reparations, Turkish and Azeri belligerence and NATO indifference to the Armenian Cause.”

— Jirair Tutunjian

The centennial of the Armenian Genocide last year brought forth a welcome avalanche of political activism, books, scholarly and journalistic reports, conferences, community projects, music, theatrical performances, visual arts presentations, and civic and religious commemorations.

One such event was the multi-exhibition series “Kiss the Ground” (Yergurbakootyoon), which featured Perspectives from Exile22 political cartoons by author, journalist, activist, and cartoonist Lucine Kasbarian of New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Fourteen other Armenian-American creative people participated in the “Kiss the Ground” exhibition, which explored memory, loss and culture, and was held at the Cambridge School of Weston, Massachusetts.

Perspectives From Exile by Lucine Kasbarian
Perspectives From Exile by Lucine Kasbarian

An offshoot of the exhibition is Kasbarian's Perspectives from Exilea 110-page illustrated volume that includes a foreword by Curator Todd Bartel, a visual arts teacher and the director of  the Cambridge School’s Thompson Gallery.

The volume’s incisive political cartoons explore topics such as Armenian Genocide denial, reparations, Turkish and Azeri belligerence and NATO indifference to the Armenian Cause.

Just one of Kasbarian’s cartoons produced during the Genocide centennial year, titled “Threaten the Pope,” spotlighted Turkish President Erdogan dreaming about the fate of Pope Francis after Erdogan threatened the latter for acknowledging the Armenian Genocide. The cartoon depicts Erdogan recalling yesteryear’s attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II by Turkish citizen Mehmet Ali Agca.

Threaten the Pope
Clouding the Issue
Lucine Kasbarian: Political Cartoons

Also included in Perspectives from Exile are an interview with Kasbarian conducted by Bartel, photos of the exhibition, highly informative articles by Kasbarian about the history and consequences of the Genocide and its denial, and the artist's statement.

Kasbarian's cartoons have appeared in more than twenty-five Armenian and non-Armenian publications and websites, including Foreign Policy Journal, Zartonk, Women's International Perspective, Massis Weekly, Veterans Today and

Kasbarian’s political cartoons reaffirm the validity of the opinion of many critics of “modern” Turkey that the rulers’ mindset has not changed from that of the Ottomans and the Young Turks.

In a year which saw Turkey's continued oppression of its indigenous minorities and journalists; its shooting down of a Russian military jet; Ankara's continued denial of the Armenian Genocide; its president's support of ISIS and aggression into Syria and Iraq, not to mention his numerous inane pronouncements, Kasbarian's Perspectives from Exile provides some much-needed relief from the oppressive insanity and criminality pouring out of Ankara.

This publication deserves wide distribution as it is undoubtedly a significant contribution to the published observances of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

To order Perspectives from Exile ($24 USD), visit:  or place an order with Armenian booksellers.

Lucine KasbarianLucine Kasbarian, writer, political cartoonist and book publicist, has been immersed in book, magazine, newspaper and online publishing for more than 30 years. She is a descendant of survivors of the 1915 Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, which drove her grandparents from their native lands in Western Armenia (now within the borders of Turkey). Lucine is the author of Armenia: A Rugged Land, an Enduring People (Simon & Schuster) and The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale(Marshall Cavendish). Her syndicated works, often about the culture of exile, appear in media outlets throughout the world.
Visit her at:

Lucine Kasbarian: Political Cartoons

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