State Library of South Australia

Behind the Lines 2016: The Year’s Best Political Cartoons

Date: 25 November 2017 to 28 January 2018

Location: Institute Building

Note: Free entry, open 10am – 5pm daily (except public holidays)

Cathy Wilcox Emperor Turnbull 2016
Cathy Wilcox, Emperor Turnbull, 2016

Explore Australia's unique, vibrant and fearless tradition of political cartooning.

In 2016 a sense of destiny seemed to reshape the broad contours of the political landscape both in Australia and abroad. It was a double-dissolution year, the Olympics were on in Rio and there was a census. There had never been a more exciting time to be an Australian. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's calibrated actions shaped the final months of the 44th parliament and would decisively influence the makeup of the 45th. Whilst, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten positioned his team for a make-or-break showdown. Around the world, the United States was in for a polarising presidential election, while Britain pondered its future.

All three countries had a date with destiny. And with the many tumultuous events it was another rich year for our nations cartoonists, who continued our vibrant, fearless tradition of political cartooning. Each year these cartoons bring home to us that their voices are ours, capturing the spirit of our democracy in all its passion, scepticism and above all, humour.

Featuring 83 framed facsimiles of political cartoons, this exhibition celebrates the role of political cartoonists in Australia and highlights the power that their drawings have in contributing to our daily political and social discourse.

Also on display are the works of Kerwin Maegraith, Adelaide born cartoonist, caricaturist and journalist. Described as a true Aussie larrikin, Maegraith drew Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Sir Donald Bradman just to name a few.

Behind the Lines 2016 is a travelling exhibition from the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, proudly supported by the National Collection Institutions Touring and Outreach program. An Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

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