A new cartoon app launched this month for both Android and Apple. The app, called The Illustrated, delivers 5 high quality political cartoons from around the world to your tablet or smartphone each day.
Its ultimate goal is ‘to create a visual historical receptacle of world events.’
We’re always happy to see people share our vision of political cartoons. In this case, we’re also thrilled that Cartoon Movement cartoons are part of the daily package.
You can download the app here for free. The free app includes one daily cartoon. If you’re willing to spend $0.99 cent monthly, you’ll get acces to all five daily cartoons. And you’ll of course be sponsoring some very thankful cartoonists around the globe.
Below are screenshots of the app:
Thoughts on FECO - by Tjeerd Royaards
FECO or the Federation of Cartoonists Organisations was founded 1983 in by three cartoonists from the Netherlands, Belgium and Great Britain. According to their website, they now have chapters in over 30 countries. The goals of FECO are to provide information on cartoon contests around the world, to safeguard author's rights and freedom of opinion, and to support cartoonists who have been victimized for political or professional reasons (this last goal is listed on the website, although not every board member agrees this should be part of the mission of FECO).
FECO is one of the major players in the field of cartooning. But it is not uncontroversial. One critic is Iranian cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani, who has fled Iran because of his work. He has been living in exile in France since 2010. He is highly critical of FECO's activities in Iran, in particular the fact that FECO cooperates with the Iranian House of Cartoon and the Tabriz Cartoon Association (until quite recently the official representative of FECO in Iran - according to FECO they did not pay their contribution, so they no longer have this role). Ramezani: 'The world knows these two organizations are part of the propaganda of the Islamic State of Iran. They are directly responsible for the exile of numerous Iranian cartoonists, for repression and torture. The world knows all cartooning events are managed by them with an enormous budget of the regime.'
In an open letter to FECO, Ramezani calls upon the organization to stop its cooperation with the Iran House of Cartoon and the Tabriz Cartoon Association. Several board members of FECO have responded this his letter.
French cartoonist Brito mentions the many the talented cartoonists in Iran: 'I consider it our duty not to close doors and windows of the world to cartoonists from Iran. And I think that, perhaps, one of the possible ways to do that is to participate in Iranian contests. Personally, I never participated in any Iranian contest and that I don’t intend to do so, but I defend the right of any cartoonist to do this. If we boycott Iran, why not boycott Russia, China, Cuba, the United States of America or Israel?'
Dutch artist and one of the founders of FECO, Peter Nieuwendijk, writes the following in a personal statement in response to Ramezani's letter: 'We are NOT Amnesty International. We are NOT Cartoonists Rights Network International. We are no politicians, we are no judges, we do not condemn. We are cartoonists. We draw about problems; we make people think and laugh, help them to decide, so they can form their own conclusions.'
Judge and Condemn
As editor of a cartoon platform that also has the mission to stand up for freedom of expression and to support cartoonists in trouble, and as an editorial cartoonist myself, I can't help but agree with some of the points raised by Kianoush Ramezani.
In February, we wrote about the Holocaust Cartoon Competition organized by the House of Cartoon in Iran. We noted that the competition was 'politically motivated, politically funded, and politically controlled by the Iranian government.' This competition is not looking for independent cartoons, but for images that will support the politics of Iran.
Brito raises a fair point when he asks why we should boycott Iran and not other countries. But to me, the delineator is quite clear. Yes, I disagree with many of the policies of the US and Israel, but any competition taking place in these countries will be independent of the state. I can make a hard-hitting caricature of Obama or Netanyahu and send it in for a competition in these countries. I could of course also send a caricature of Rouhani or Khamenei to an Iranian cartoon competition, but I doubt it would be published, let alone selected as prize-winner. US cartoonist Daryl Cagle made a great protest cartoon which he entered into the Holocaust Competition. I doubt we will see it on Irancartoon.com.
Brito goes on to note that in some countries censorship can be insidious, less visible than in Iran but no less damaging. Althoug this is undoubtedly true, we have to draw a line somewhere. And I think putting an end to cooperation with openly state-sponsored cartoon institutions of authoritarian regimes is a good place to start.
Ramezani points out that boycotting these two organizations would not mean a total boycott of cartoonists in Iran. He argues that FECO should connect with independent Iranian cartoonists.
To me, the core of cartooning is independence, and its foundation is freedom of expression. In a world where truth is often in the eye of the beholder, these two values should be paramount to cartoonists and the organizations that represent them. Contrary to what Mr. Nieuwendijk believes, I do feel it's our duty to judge and condemn those who threaten our freedom to draw what we want, and those who would use cartoons for propaganda and political purposes. I wholeheartedly agree that we should not lose touch with the cartoonists in Iran, but I do not believe that working with regime-sponsored institutions to that end is a constructive way to do that. We should find a way to connect with independent Iranian cartoonists, however difficult that may be.
I'd be very interested to hear what other cartoonists (and people interested in cartoons) think about this. Feel free to share your point of view in the comment section below.
Update: Just before publication of this post, Daryl Cagle mentioned new developments on his Facebook page. He states Bernard Bouton, secretary-general of FECO (and also a member of the Cartoon Movement community) has resigned from FECO. In recent days, Bouton has been criticized for participating in the Holocaust Competition. According to Cagle, ‘the French cartoonists, the largest part of FECO, are calling for new elections to replace the FECO board and to disassociate FECO from Iran's infamous ‘House of Cartoons’. We will continue to follow the story, and will report any new developments.
Sahar Ajami is an Oslo based Iranian artist. She started her profession when she was a student, after she won several prizes in cartoon festivals. Sahar has worked on projects ranging from text books to award-winning cartoons and illustrations. Her works have been included in over 20 books and a wide variety of illustration, cartoon and and art catalogs. Currently She is working on a series of cartoons focused on women and their issues. To see more of her work, check out her Facebook page.
Cartoon by Kianoush.
Cartoon Movement is partnering with Le Mémorial de Caen to organize the 5th International Meeting of Press Cartoonists. In February, it looked as though the meeting might not happen this year. Security risks forced the Memorial to rethink the event. Last month, we traveled to Caen to discuss a new date and this year’s programme together with the Memorial.
The date and theme of this year’s meeting were revealed at a press conference in Caen last Wednesday. The 5th meeting will take place on 11, 12, and 13 September. The overarching theme will be the consequences for cartoonists of the 7th of January, when Charlie Hebdo was attacked. September 11 was chosen as a symbolic starting date, because the 7th of January can in some ways be seen as the 9/11 of cartoonists. On that day, it became irrevocably clear what power simple lines on paper can possess, and what consequences they can have for the people who draw these lines.
Stéphane Grimaldi, director of the Memorial, Joël Bruneau, the mayor of Caen, and cartoonists Kianoush, Chaunu and Tjeerd Royaards present the program of the 5th cartoonists’ meeting. Image courtesy of Liberté Bonhomme.
The attack on Charlie Hebdo forces cartoonists to rethink their profession and their role in society. To do this, we will bring together 40 cartoonist from all over the globe. And instead of having everybody draw the most offensive cartoon of Mohammed, we’re looking to start a conversation. About whether there are limits to freedom of expression or not. And if the right to insult is essential to cartooning.
Here are the subjects that we will be talking about:
-Does freedom of speech have limits?
-How has cartooning changed since January 7?
-The business side: making a living with cartoons
-Editorial cartoon throughout history.
-Are cartoons a universal language?
-What is a good cartoon?
-Editorial cartoon in school: educational uses, experiences
-Are cartoonists journalists?
The continued threat to cartoonists has forced us to rethink the organization of this year’s event. All activities will take place at the Memorial. The list of attending cartoonists will be made public in the week before the event, not before. And people who are interested in attending will have to register via the website of the Memorial.
Although we sincerely regret that these security measures are necessary, we feel it’s important to keep the conversation on freedom of expression going.
Registration for the event will be possible on the website of the Memorial from the 1st of June.
Arwa Moukbel is a young cartoonist that recently joined our community. She’s from Yemen, not a place where you’d expect to find (female) cartoonists. All the more reason to ask her a few questions.
Why and when did you start making cartoons?
I always saw the daily cartoons in the local newspapers, and I was a big fan of the drawings of Naji Al-Ali. I started drawing cartoons in school, mostly about the Palestinian cause. I knew the bigger newspapers imposed restrictions on what you were allowed to draw, but at the time I hoped to find a small newspaper or website that might be interested in my work.
For a long time, I settled for making cartoons with any place to publish them. Since 8 months, I have a Facebook page.
What are the red lines (subjects you cannot draw about?
A red line in the past was to criticize the system of Ali Saleh and staff. Now, I believe, the biggest red line is criticism of the Saudi regime. My family is afraid, so they prevented me from publishing some of my cartoons that talked about Saudi Arabia 's policy towards Yemen.
But now I am very happy to joined Cartoon Movement. It gives me the chance to publish my work, a chance I do not have here in Yemen, being almost the only female cartoonist.
The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Yemen - © Arwa Moukbel
We’re very happy to welcome renowned Jordan cartoonist Osama Hajjaj to Cartoon Movement. He currently works for ‘Al Arab Al Youm’ newspaper. His cartoons are related to people’s life in Jordan and the political events in the Middle East and the world. Check out his website and Facebook page to see more of his work.