On this day, 51 years ago, in pronounced celebration and frivolity, Sierra Leone officially announced its independence from British colonial rule. It is a time of great celebration for all Sierra Leoneans, cramming the streets of the Capital, Waterloo, Leicester and all along the beaches of the Freetown Peninsula. Since the cessation of hostilities in 2002, commentators are optimistic about the future of this West African nation. Following his government’s successful intervention during the civil war in the 1990s, Tony Blair congratulated the country on its efforts to restore parliamentary elections, reconcile peace and demilitarisation and its burgeoning economic growth. Indeed, yesterday’s successful conviction of Charles Taylor, the former head of Liberia, for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Hague at the UN Special Court has given many Sierra Leoneans a particular cause for celebration. What has not been highlighted, however, are the concerns of social stagnation, of the unresolved tensions following the war that still act as a canker in this troubled state. A fragmented youth community and an inability to foster cohesion has put these steps towards progression into serious doubt; Di rod geht plehnti galohp [Krio], the road has a lot of bumps. Still.
In reaction to the growing fears of Communism and the outward spread and consolidation of territory with the USSR, a number of accusatory and alarmist publications were written, denouncing the ‘Red Terror’ and its anti-capitalist sentiments as ‘un-American’. In 1947, the Catechetical Guild Educational Society responded with its publication of Is This Tomorrow: America Under Communism, a propagandistic comic strip concerned with detailing the approaching threat of Communism and the soviet onslaught against the United States of America.
A number of intriguing cartoon drawings have been recently discovered and are now being put up for auction on 17 April 2012. The items are now being offered in London with an estimate of £5,000. The fascinating collection includes depictions of Imperial German soldiers on the Western Front between 1914 and 1916, revealing a previously unknown humourous side to the miseries of trench warfare and the famed German officer class.