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Published in newspapers, journals and online, cartoons are part of the public record of a nation’s political life. With wit and wisdom they provide an opportunity to reflect on the state of Australian politics and expose the robust nature of Australian democracy. Next week sees the official opening of the Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Cartoons 2011 exhibition at Riverside Theatres. The exhibition, which showcases a plethora of political cartoons, takes a well-deserved look at the provocative, stimulating and entertaining medium. “It’s great to finally see these cartoons where they rightfully belong, removed and isolated from the otherwise unreadable newspapers where they first appeared,” said comedian and radio Host, Chris Taylor, one of several speakers appearing throughout the course of the show. April 27th sees Taylor in conversation with SMH’s Editorial Cartoonist Alan Muir as part of the A Poke in the Eye with a Sharp Pencil event running in tandem with the exhibition. The events will feature a series of conversations between well-known cartoonists and comedians as they dissect the political highs and lows of 2011.

Apr 11 – May 27, Riverside Theatres, cnr Church and Market Sts, exhibition free, talks $12, 8839 3398