The Pen is Funnier than the Sword
Michael Leighton | 10/24/2017, 2:21 p.m.
His political cartoons tackle issues like Islamophobia, immigration and racial justice in America with insight and humor and have been carried by newspapers around the world, including regularly in the Portland Observer.
Now the journalist known for embracing his Muslim, Third-World perspectives for cutting-edge commentary will be in Portland for two public events this weekend: A lecture and presentation of some of his cartoons as part of a two month exhibit, “The Pen is Funnier than the Sword;” and a reception and book signing for his new graphic novel "Verax: The True History of Whistleblowers, Mass Surveillance and Drone Warfare."
Khalil Bendib was born a refugee in Paris during Algeria’s bloody war of independence before moving to America where he earned a college education and started his career. He draws with a sense of humor that invites viewers to see themselves, to laugh, and then to consider what justice might mean for the people and societies he depicts.
“My work has always instinctively espoused the side of the underdog -- the side on which I was born,” Bendib said. “After early brushes with political censorship in Algeria, at age 20, I voted with my feet and came to the Land of the Free, where my contrarian leanings -- while not always universally welcome -- did find an echo and gradually became part of the media kaleidoscope that makes this country irresistible to free spirits like me.”
Currently based in Berkeley, Calif., Bendib lived in France, Algeria, and Morocco prior to immigrating to the United States. He earned his master’s degree at the University of Southern California in 1982 where his political cartoons were published in the Daily Trojan and where he also studied sculpture and ceramics. His work is currently distributed widely to alternative, independent publications like the black and family-owned Portland Observer via Otherwords.org and the Institute for Policy Studies.
The public is invited to meet and hear from Bendib during two weekend appearances at First Congregational Church, 1126 S.W. Park Ave. He will give a public talk and present some of his works on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow in the church’s ArtReach Gallery, the location for the cartoonist’s exhibit, now showing through Nov. 26. The event is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Oregon, the Muslim Educational Trust, and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and is free and open to the public.
On Saturday, Oct.28, from 7 p.m.to 9 p.m. the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon and First Congregational Church, host a public event with Bendib at the gallery to include a reception and book signing for his new graphic novel "Verax: The True History of Whistleblowers, Mass Surveillance and Drone Warfare."
“The Pen is Funnier than the Sword,” exhibit at ArtReach Gallery can be seen weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and by appointment with the curator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.