M2002.133.18 | Somalia

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Drawing, cartoon
Éric Godin
1993, 20th century
Ink and felt pen
13.8 x 17.1 cm
Gift of M. Gérard Geoffrion
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Africa (63) , America (137) , Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , figure (1849) , Human rights (21) , International (540) , International conflicts (608) , International stakes (660) , male (1608) , Peace process (138) , politics (10928) , Politics (1624) , soldier (21) , Somalia (10) , war (145)
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Keys to History

Has war simply become live entertainment broadcast by the media? The nobility of U.S. intentions is questioned by this cartoon, which pushes satire to the point of showing a soldier crushing one of the people he has come to save, in his haste to put on a good show for the cameras.

  • What

    The initial impression of Operation Restore Hope was that of a strong America capable of imposing its will anywhere in the world. This perception was transmitted by the omnipresent media, which likewise regarded themselves as a reflection of U.S. power.

  • Where

    Somalia is an African country that gained its independence in 1959, following the merger of the Italian protectorate of Somalia and the British protectorate of Somaliland.

  • When

    The purpose of U.S.-led Operation Restore Hope, which began in December 1992 and ended in May 1993, was to bring some order to the chaos created by Somalia's civil war, which nevertheless dragged on until March 1995.

  • Who

    The United States orchestrated this military and humanitarian operation in Somalia, a country with a population of six million. In the cartoon, the cameras and microphones represent the American media, especially the influential 24-hour TV news channels.