What is in a Laughter? A Glance at Humour in Environmental Protests


  • Ahmed Mohammed Jasim Himmadi University of Mosul, Iraq
  • Huda Halawachy University of Mosul, Iraq


Environmental protests, Humour, Functions of humour, Banners, Memes, Pictures, Cartoons, Caricatures, Posters, Environmental issues


“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” ― Mahatma GandhiThe rise of opposition between the authoritarian regime and the non-authoritarian public is a page in history of worldwide communities. Protesting against governmental laws, actions, and regulations, the anti-party, whether the activists, the protesters or the organizers make use of different tools to communicate with their regimes. The verbal and the non-verbal tools are canonical in the street protests and/or online political dissents having different shapes. In our pandemic age of increasing inequality, this article speaks of humour as a powerful tool in environmental protests. In their banners, cartoons, posters, caricatures, pictures, and memes, the environmental dissenters spell out the way the regimes are crushing not only the human rights, but also the biodiversity rights of sharing with us the earth creatures and substances, including animals, plants, water, and soil. Some illustrative examples of verbal humour, non-verbal humour and mixed humour are given where necessary. Our descriptive article is basically built on the claim that a joke in environmental protests should not be conceptualized as fun and joy or a punch line of a story anymore; rather, it is the profound role of humour functioning as satire, irony, pun, and sarcasm speaking to a variety of environmental issues of the day. Global warming, animal extinction, pollution, and desertification are good representatives in non–violent actions and movements to save Mother Nature.