Luca Garcia is a cartoonist from Caracas, Venezuela. He makes a daily cartoon for Venezualen newspaper '2001'. In addition, Luca is illustrator, graphic designer, and published author.
Drawing Citizenship (a cartoon project reflecting on European Citizenship in the run-up to the European elections, in cooperation with the European Cultural Foundation) has drawn to a close, with the selection of 8 cartoons out of more than 200 submissions from both Europe and the rest of the world.
This has been one of the more interesting projects, as it is a very interesting time for the European project. In western Europe, and in countries facing severe austerity measures (like Greece), euroskepticism is on the rise. In France and the UK, anti-Europe parties (Front National and the UK Independence Party respectively) were the biggest winners of the European elections. In other parts of Europe, the mood is different. For instance, the majority in Italy, Romania and Portugal voted for left-wing parities, not aiming for less Europe, but a more social Europe instead.
So, did the cartoons reflect how Europeans feel about Europe? Well, yes and no.
No, because there were no outright anti-Europe cartoons sent in for this project. This is probably because (with the notable exception of the US, where there is a long and rich tradition of conservative cartoonists) cartoonists tend to be progressive individuals, who shy away from populism, nationalism and migration restrictions (which is what most anti-Europe parties have in common).
Yes, because we did receive some highly critical cartoons about the European Union. There's one by Vladimir Kazanevsky (shown above), visualizing the EU as mountaineers trying to reach the summit. Their safety lines are not attached to each other's waists, but like nooses to their necks. Other cartoons reflect a number themes, some decidedly progressive, others felt by Europeans from both the left and the right side of the political spectrum.
The majority of cartoons about Europe can, broadly speaking, be divided in four categories:
1) Highlighting the gap between the people in power and the European citizens.
3) Focusing on the economy, and the fact that Europe has become (in the eyes of many cartoonists) a representative of capitalist interests of banks and multinationals, with little or no regard anymore for the common citizen.
Cartoons by Anne Derenne and Trayko Popov.
4) The immigration policy of Europe; the EU should be about shared prosperity, but the freedom enjoyed by people within Europe stands in sharp contrast with the way we deal with people trying to get in.
Cartoons by Igor Lukyachenko and Tjeerd Royaards.
What a lot of these cartoons have in common is that they visualize the EU as a polity that is far removed from the Europeans. This is quite an accurate reflection of how many people in the EU feel, and why so many people stay at home on election day, or, when they do vote, decide to support anti-Europe parties.
Part of this project was to explore, apart from European politics and institutions, the ties that bind us together as Europeans. But the sad truth is, that at the moment, it is precisely the institutions of the EU (and the remote and undemocratic way they function) that seem to be the biggest obstacle in the way of developing any form of European citizenship.
A new week, and three new cartoonists joining Cartoon Movement. They come from Serbia, Russia and India:
Vinod Triphati (aka SpectoonS) is a cartoonist from India, working for E-News portal The Indian Republic. His motto: 'I am not a painter who beautifies the scene with colors, instead I am a photographer who captures things as it is.'
Vladimir Khakhanov is an award-winning artist from Moscow, Russia; he has been a cartoonist since 1976.
We're starting the week with three more cartoonists joining our community: Terry Anderson from Scotland, George Licurici from Romania, and our very first cartoonist from Serbia, Vladimir Volodja Sivtsevich.
Terry Anderson is a professional cartoonist from Glasgow in Scotland. He's also a coordinator for the Scottish Cartoon Studio, and is currently touring Europe with a cartoon exhibition on the Scottish independence referendum. The cartoon shown here is part of that exhibition. Check out his website for more of his work.
We are very happy to welcome three new cartoonists to our ever-growing community. This week's newcomers hail from Brazil, Russia, and Australia:
Silvano Mello is a self-taught cartoonist from Brazil, active in the field of graphic humor since 2007. He has won numerous awards for his work.
Vasiliy Alexandrov is a freelance cartoonist from St. Petersburg in Russia. His work has been awarded in over 40 international competitions.
Yaser Abo Hamed
Yaser Abo Hamed is a cartoonist originally from Syria, now living in Australia.
Sad news from one of the most prestigious cartoon awards. World Press Cartoon has put up a notice on their website that the 2014 edition is postponed due to budget problems.
World Press Cartoon has been around for nine years, and in that time has grown to be an international award of note, and arguably the most important award around for international political cartoonists. WPC was found by the famous Portuguese Antonio Antunes, and has taken place in Sintra, Portugal, since its inception.
The municipal government of Sintra has been one of the main sponsors of the event, but that sponsorship is now in danger, as a newly elected government has not yet decided whether it will continue to sponsor WPC in the future.
Here at Cartoon Movement we think very highly of World Press Cartoon, and we very much hope it will be around for many years to come. If you want to help secure the future of WPC, consider sending a protest letter to the mayor of Sintra. Below is a template letter we found on the blog of Canadian cartoonist Bado (Portuguese version available on the blog of Rafaella Spinazzi):
The Honorable Basilio Horta
Mayor of Sintra, Portugal
The Sintra World Press Cartoon Annual Salon is internationally recognized as the most important event of the World Press Cartoon organization. Until last year the city of Sintra had supported the celebration of this great event, which promotes not only the best works of world cartoonists, but places your city as an international cultural center as well.
We have learned in disbelief that you have decided to withdraw Sintra´s support to the realization of this important event, precisely when it is organizing its tenth edition and has already received hundreds of works from all over the world.
We invite you to reconsider your decision for the sake of art and culture. A prestigious event as the World Press Cartoon Salon deserves to receive the support from your office once again. That would be the right decision to make for the cultural enrichment of both Sintra and Portugal.
Send the letter to:
Sr. Basílio Horta
Alcalde de Sintra
Largo Dr. Virgílio Horta
2714-501 Sintra, Portugal
Tel: 00 351 219 238 500
Fax: 00 351 219 238 657
We have been getting many applications from cartoonists wanting to join our community, and most of them make great cartoons. Here are some of the latest cartoonists that have joined our ranks, from (in no particular order) Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lebanon and Mexico:
Oleksy Kustovy is a Ukrainian cartoonist. Since 2003 he has won over a 100 prizes for his work in international contests.
Gustavo Caballero, better known as Guffo, has been a cartoonist for 15 years, working for two newspapers in his hometown Monterrey, Mexico.
Initiated by the African Union in a resolution dating back to 2004, the African Union Human Rights Memorial (AUHRM) is meant to become a memorial for remembering mass atrocities in Africa. 'AUHRM should manifest both the duty to remember, provide a place of recognition as well as mourning and the duty to overcome denial, silence and disregard.'
Special attention is given to the victims of the former central prison Alem Bekagn in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where where thousands of people suffered and died. The headquarters of the African Union are located where this prison once stood.
The AUHRM will incorporate permanent memorials to the Rwanda Genocide, Apartheid and slavery, and temporary exhibits to memorialize human rights violations across the continent.
Cartoon Movement was asked to produce a series of five illustrations based on AUHRM slogans, to be used in the promotion of this project. We felt this assignment would be handled best by an African cartoonist, and asked Kenyan artist Victor Ndula to take this commission. Here is the result:
For an African Union Human Rights Memorial:
1. Let us unite to honour all victims and survivors of atrocities in the spirit of Pan African solidarity.
5. Let us strive to prevent genocide, crimes against humanity and human rights abuses in Africa.