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Mafalda

· The cartoon ·

It is liberating, gives dignity and affirms the human being’s understanding of what happens to him: this is the essence of the irony in the cartoon version of Mafalda. It has always been one of the most popular comic strips, created and designed by the Argentine artist Quino, Joaquín Salvador Lavado’s pseudonym. Published for the first time on 29 September 1964, Mafalda was capable of recounting an entire universe, making a very precise situation universal. The daughter of a petit bourgeois couple – her father works, her mother is a housewife – Mafalda goes to kindergarten and then to elementary school, she lives a peaceful life among friends and strangers with whom she interacts fearlessly. Even when they have difficulty facing their daughter’s quick brain, her parents strive to give her answers and to guide her as she grows up. With the figure of Mafalda – born in a very precise historical period, between the Vietnam war, John XXIII, the Beatles and feminism – the thought of the children acquires a dignity and value equal to that of the adults. For more than half a century, the gaze of this six-year-old little girl – a rebellious mane tied up with a ribbon on her head – continues to ask great existential questions about humanity and its destiny in the world. Uncomfortable questions, that strip naked contradictions and taboos. (@PerezSilvina)

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