Monday, March 29, 2010

Oil and cartoon by Bayram Hajizadeh

Last week I was very honoured to receive the latest book written and edited by Mr Bayram Hajizadeh, Doctor of Philosophy, Honoured Art Worker of the Azerbaijan Republic and President of the Azerbaijan Cartoonist Union. I knew his previous books were very interesting and this new book is gratifying me a lot again. Not only by the fact that the cartoons in it at are excellent, but also by the concept of the book: a combination of history, art and humor.

The book is devoted to the 15th anniversary of the oil contract signed in Azerbaijan called "The Contract of the Century".

Oil and cartoon cover

In a first part, Mr Hajizadeh writes about the rich history of oil exploration in Azerbaijan from antique times, over Marco Polo, who was the first European to visit the Caucasus, until modern times. "If oil is the Queen, then Baku is her throne", emphasized Winston Churchill at the beginning of the 20th century.

"Our 'friends'" (1919)
In the second part we find the history of cartoons and oil in Azerbaijan.As capitalism was developing rapidly, there was a fertile condition for the formation of the cartoon as an independent genre. We learn that the people skillfully used cartoons and critical satiric drawings to declare their protests and discontents to oil mine owners, state officials and power circles. Foreign occupiers who tried to own Azerbaijan's oil and other natural wealth, were criticized. In the soviet period mostly exposed cartoon subject were shortcomings in the field of oil industry, anarchy prevailed in offices and organisations, office heads and directors, irresponsible state officials and directors of oil wells. The importance of satirical newspapers and magazines such as "Molla Nasreddin" (first issue 1906) and "Kirpi" (Eng. Hedgehog, first issue 1952) is well documented in the book.
Cover of the satiric magazine 'Kirpi' (1952, no 1)

B.Hajizadeh "Molla Nasreddin: -Azerbaijan -
a land of oil - is prospering day by day"
The third part contains the selected cartoons of the Molla Nasreddin cartoon contest 2009.
This contest was devoted to the 103rd anniversary of the first satiric and cartoon magazine in the East and in all Moslim countries - “Molla Nasreddin”. The theme was 'the importance of oil in the world'.

Here is a selection of some top cartoons out of the book:

Veselin Damyanov, Bulgaria

Vahid Jafari, Iran

Slawomir Luczynski, Poland
Shevket Yalaz, Turkey

Julio Angel Carrion Cueva, Peru

Ilya Katz, Israel
Angel Boligan, Mexico

Ferreol Murillo Fuentos, Costa Rica

I thank Mr Hajizadeh again for sending me this very nice book and his great work!

Learn more:
Petroleum Industry in Azerbaijan (Wikipedia)
Bayram Hajizadeh bio
Some pages out of the book on Azercartoon

Cartoonbook file:

Previous articles on our blog:
World cartoon by Bayram Hajizadeh
Contemporary cartoon of Azerbaijan

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