Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Laughter: Laughter as a political tool - Zunar in Malaysia, a talk

17 January 2019, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm


How can laughter be used as a tool to challenge existing political structures? In this talk, the political cartoonist Zunar will address this question.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Alice Rudge


IAS Common Ground
Ground floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

Throughout his career, Zunar has challenged and exposed corruption and abuses of power by the government in his home country of Malaysia. He uses art as a form of resistance - and has been attacked, arrested, detained, and investigated under the Sedition Act and the Penal Code for doing so.

Five of his cartoon books have been banned by the Malaysian government on the grounds that the contents are “detrimental to public order.” His office in Kuala Lumpur has been raided, and thousands of cartoon books were confiscated. The printers, vendors, and booksellers have been harassed.

Zunar is the only Malaysian selected by Amnesty International for their biggest annual international campaign, ‘Write for Rights (#W4R) 2015′. He holds that when one’s country is facing a moral crisis and beset by corruption, abuse of power and violations of human rights, then it is one’s duty to take a firm stand against those responsible for it.

As a cartoonist, Zunar feels compelled to show this stand in his work. Drawing cartoons, to him, becomes a fight for justice.

Zunar's work will be exhibited at UCL from 14 January to 23 January 2019. Please find more information here. This talk will be followed by a reception at the exhibition space.

All welcome. Please note that there may be photography and/or audio recording at some events and that admission is on a first come first served basis. Please follow this FAQ link for more information.