There’s a line between thought-provoking, sharp, even controversial cartoons and cartoons that are simply propaganda, reinforcing prejudice and hatred. The line is not always clear to see, but sometimes it is, as in the case of the 2nd Holocaust International Cartoon & Caricature Exhibition 2016 organized in Iran.
Heavily sponsored by the Iranian government (although they deny this), this cartoon competition is no more than a propaganda tool in the hands of the regime. Although we’d rather not give attention to this, we do feel the need to state that this competition goes against everything we believe editorial cartoons should stand for. Cartoons should expose lies and combat prejudice, not reinforce them. It’s sad to see excellent drawing skills wasted on images that do not in any way contribute to a better world.
Here is the link to the gallery, which we share as an example to show what cartoon propaganda looks like; browse at your own peril.
Editorial cartoons cannot exist without freedom. Cartoonists use freedom to mock those in power and to address the wrongs in society. Here at Cartoon Movement, we also believe that freedom cannot exist without cartoons. Or at least, that cartoons contribute to freedom.
In April, we partnered with Dutch NGO Switch in organizing a cartoon competition for students from 12 to 21 years old. The competition challenged the students to make a cartoon about one the four freedoms of President Roosevelt. Roosevelt defined these freedoms in the State of the Union to US Congress in 1941. They are:
1) Freedom of expression
2) Freedom of belief
3) Freedom from fear
4) Freedom from want
Although the four freedoms have been around for 75 years, they are more relevant than ever. In many parts of the world, people are still harassed or prosecuted for voicing their opinion or for what they believe. The millions of people seeking refuge in Europe shows how people today are looking to live without fear. And although we have come some way in alleviating global poverty, there is still a lot of work to be done.
CM editor Tjeerd Royaards gave a series of cartoon workshops in March and April at 12 schools in the south of the Netherlands, explaining why it is important to make cartoons about these freedoms. Cartoons make people think, and thinking is the first step towards finding a solution for these problems.
Students were then challenged to make their own cartoon. At the end of April, 177 cartoons were sent in for the competition. The best 40 cartoons were exhibited at the Freedom Festival Zeeland on May 5th. The jury gathered here to select 15 cartoons to be included in the exhibition of the Dutch Cartoon Festival and to pick three winners. The winners were:
The 15 selected cartoons are exhibitited alongside 100 international cartoons made by professionals at the Dutch Cartoon Festival, which opened in Middelburg on May 20th. The winning three cartoons are also published in PZC, the major newspaper in Zeeland.
We’re proud to add a cartoonist from Kazakhstan to our network. Galym Boranbayev creates stunning cartoons that rely almost purely on visuals to tell the story. His works have won over 30 international awards.
We are delighted to welcome Italian illustrator and cartoonist Marilena Nardi to our community. Her work is published widely in Italy and abroad. She also teaches at the at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice.
With over 8000 shares on our Facebook page and 38K likes (both at time of writing), the cartoon ‘Refuge’ by South African cartoonist Brandan Reynolds is the most popular cartoon we’ve published in our five-year history. The cartoon captures our outrage and indignation over the Panama Papers in a simple visual of two ships and three words.