Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cartoon Roundup From Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia

I was looking for cartoons from around the world and found this Bulgarian cartoon that casts a bullfighter as a cowardly villain. It has an amusing and surprising ending. With no words at all, it is easy to understand. I find it most interesting that although bullfighting is very popular in Spain, it did not carry over to Cuba. In Cuba, baseball is the national sport. This is in no small part a cultural statement of independence from Spain.

The other cartoon is from Czechoslovakia, back in the days before it split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is a series about a mole, many episodes of which are available on You Tube. It has no words and is not overtly political. The art in children's books in Eastern Europe frequently earned critical acclaim, as did the cartoons. People who grew up in than era are looking back with nostalgia upon some of the cultural features of that time. There was a phenomenon in Nazi Germany of the "inner migration", in which those who did not want to court danger by an artistic framework took shelter in allegory and domains that were ostensibly devoid of politics. It can be inferred that the same thing went on under communism. In any case, there are vast areas of life that are universal, that exist in the common ground shared by people living under vastly different political systems.

I am very interested in the memories of those who grew up under communism. I find that mentioning cartoons such as those about Krtek (the mole) often elicit memories that might be buried, recollections that provide a more nuanced view of the communist era.

Hopefully, my readers will enjoy these cartoons enough to seek them out on You Tube. I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed discovering them Sphere: Related Content

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