A Semiotic Analysis of Political Cartoons on Corona Virus in Almada Newspaper
Keywords:semiotics, political cartoons, corona virus, pandemic, Iraqi government, Iraqi people
This study delves into a semiotic analysis of the Iraqi political cartoons on corona virus created by the cartoonist Bassam Faraj in the Iraqi newspaper 'Almada'. It aims at finding out how the political cartoons in the said newspaper depict the Iraqi government's and the Iraqi people's roles in the time of the corona pandemic. The significance of this study is to shed light on the role of the political cartoons in highlighting some important political and social issues related to the Iraqi government's role and the Iraqi people's role during the pandemic in Iraq. For this study, (11) political cartoons have been collected on the basis that they reflect the Iraqi government's and the Iraqi people's roles in the pandemic, and only nine samples are analyzed according to Barthes' approach of semiotics. Moreover, to discover the themes embedded in the cartoons selected, a qualitative approach has been used. Furthermore, for the sake of analysis, these cartoons are classified into three categories on the basis of representing the Iraqi government's and the Iraqi people's roles separately or together. This study concludes that the Iraqi government's role is depicted as negative for it has not controlled the pandemic for many reasons like leaving the Iraq entry points with Iran open due to submission to it, neglecting the corona pandemic and chasing after power, neglecting promoting the health care sector and the lack of credibility concerning saving the Iraqis' lives through imposing the precautionary measures due to corruption and the interest in maintaining power. The Iraqi peoples' role during the pandemic is depicted as positive and negative. The positive aspect focuses on public awareness of the safety procedures and synergy whereas the negative aspect concentrates on some social issues in the time of the pandemic like the lack of awareness among some Iraqi citizens about corona precautions and assaults on health staff. In addition, the political cartoons selected include a sort of bias against the Islamic officials.