Abolfazl Mohtarami is an award-winning cartoonist and animator from Tehran, Iran.
On September 11-12 and 13, 35 political cartoonists from all corners of the globe came together in Normandy, France, to discuss the future of their profession after Charlie Hebdo.
Every year (this was the 5th editition), World War Two museum Mémorial de Caen invites cartoonists to meet each other and the public. This year was special. Originally planned for April the meeting was cancelled in February because safety could not be guaranteed. Fortunately, cancellation turned out to be postponement. This year, more than any other, a lot of cartoonists felt the urgency reaffirm their commitment to social satire and to freedom of speech.
Over a 1000 people attended the debates, once again proving that France is a country with high regard for political cartooning. A fact that was further emphasized when the event's hashtag #DessinDePresse became the top trending hashtag in France.
The French government took the gathering of almost three dozen cartoonists (and the public) very seriously indeed. The audience was screened beforehand, the museum was guarded by numerous police, and the cartoonists were transported with police escort.
Three days in Caen were filled with engaging debates about the limits to freedom of expression, the question whether or not a cartoonist is a journalist and the impact of the attack on Charlie Hebdo on the profession. But another threat was also discussed: one of the most engaging debates of the event focused on the economic difficulties that cartoonists face. It's getting harder and harder to make a living with political cartoons; one might even argue this is a bigger risk to the profession than the risk of a terror attack.
Wherever cartoonists gather, there will be drawing. The Memorial provided two giant pieces of paper and invited all the cartoonists to draw a tribute to the victims of the January 7 attack. The 'frescos' will be on display in the town of Bayeux (near Caen) during the Prix Bayeyx-Cavados, an award for war correspondents.
Here is a video of one of the frescos, showing all the works:
How is Greece being affected by the ongoing financial crisis? Daily, we are confronted with news from Greece, through multiple media. On Facebook and Instagram, our friends flood our walls with holiday selfies from the Greek islands. But what does Greek society really look like after years of austerity? And how has the crisis affected the Greek people?
In the series Meanwhile in Greece, cartoonist Spiros Derveniotis (1969) gives us insight into the Greek situation from an altogether unique viewpoint: through a comics series situated in the streets of Athens. In a crossover between graphic storytelling and investigative journalism, the project will delve into a wide spectrum of issues to offer background and perspective. Resulting in a graphic narrative that will immerse the reader.
Born and raised in Athens,Greece, Derveniotis personally witnessed the detoriation of his country. Through his comics, he visualizes what the impact of years of political struggle, forced budget cuts, austerity, and political fiascoes has had on the country, her citizens, and (potentially) the European Union as a whole. For the journalistic cartoon series Meanwhile in Greece, Derveniotis will cooperate with Cartoon Movement, the online platform for journalistic cartooning.
The first episode focusses on the elections of 20 September 2015. How has the Greek political landscape changed after years of economic crisis? How have political opinions changed among the young and old; among the rich and poor; on the left and right wings? What will the post-election political landscape look like? The players, the agendas, the politricks, all explored first hand and in real time.
This project will be fully financed by crowdfunding. Every contributor will receive an episode of the comic, once completed, by email. Intrigued? Curious about the rest of the story? Support the next episode too! Contributing, then, is basically like walking into a comicbook store to purchase the next episode of your favourite comic.
Perks of support:
- Every backer will receive the episode of the comic by email.
- When contributing €50 or more, your name will be mentioned in the cartoon (if you want).
- When contributing €100 or more, you will receive a personal online avatar;
- When contributing €250 or more, you will receive a hand drawn portrait sent to you by post.
Click here to support our campaign.
Salman Taheri is a cartoonist and illustrator from Iran. Although he studied civil engineering, his passion for drawing lead him to be a cartoonist, and he started publishing in the press in 1999.
Nanda Soobben is an award-winning cartoonist from South Africa. He was the only cartoonist of colour during Apartheid. He lived in exile in Brazil and the United States and is the recipient of an Amnesty International Award for ‘speaking the truth through the power of cartoons’. We’re very pleased to add such an esteemed cartoonist to Cartoon Movement. The news of Nanda joining us even made it to a Durban newspaper:
A cartoon in support of Ted Rall by South African cartoonist John Curtis (@digitaljungle)
The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) is calling for an independent investigation of an audiotape that’s at the heart of a conflict between US cartoonist Ted Rall (who has done a comic for us in the past) and the LA Times.
In short, the conflict is this: Ted, a freelance writer and cartoonist for the LA Times, wrote a blog in May describing a ‘rough’ encounter with an officer the LAPD in 2001. One month after publication, the LAPD provided an audiotape of the incident which they claimed contradicted Ted’s account. Based on the tape, the LA Times decided to fire Ted as well as publicly call him out on the supposed factual inconsistencies.
But that wasn’t the end of it. In response to the allegations, Ted has had the audiotape (the quality of which was rather bad) enhanced by professionals. The enhanced version backs up his story, he says.
This is a really short recap of the story. This article at A New Domain has some of the most recent developments, and at the bottom you'll find links to various articles that go into the case in detail.
It’s difficult to accurately gauge the story following it from the other side of the pond, but what does strike us as odd is the reluctance of the LA times to respond in detail to the enhanced audiotape and what it contains. When you call a journalist and cartoonist a liar (as they have basically done), you should be willing to investigate when new evidence presents itself. Because at the moment, Ted’s claim that it was the influence of the LAPD that got him fired (he’s done a lot of cartoons that were highly critical of the police) seems plausible.
In any case, an impartial and independent investigation does seem to be in order. We will continue to follow the story (from afar) with interest.
We’re delighted to welcome South Africa’s 38th best cartoonist to our community! Jerm (aka Jeremy Nell) is an award-winning cartoonist whose work is widely published in South Africa and beyond. In 2012, Jerm was fired from The New Age for being ‘too political’. Check out his website to see more of his work.