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The Power of Cartoons 7 - Sergei Tunin from Russia

This series was produced in a partnership with Dutch magazine Nieuwe Liefde. Eight of our cartoonists talk about cartoons that were controversial or that got them in trouble. The interviews run in the March issue of Nieuwe Liefde magazine, and will be published in English here on the blog. The interviews were conducted by Julia Ploum. Today's cartoonist: Sergei Tunin from Russia

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Sergei Tunin is a renowned cartoonist, both in and outside of Russia. In Russia no less than 54 journalists have been killed since 1992. Their murderers are rarely prosecuted.

What inspired you to make this cartoon and what were the consequences?

‘The idea for this cartoon about elections in Russia is the result of my personal impression during the last elections. I saw so-called carrousel voters, buses full of young electors moving from one to another election centre and voting for the appointed candidate. It then became clear that my vote means nothing. This cartoon about fraudulent electing was published in the Russian liberal magazine "The New Times" and took part in exhibition in Sakharov Centre in Moscow.’

In which ways is freedom of press restricted in your country?

‘In the former Soviet Union I experienced many personal restrictions. In 1975 I took part in the exhibition in the West Berlin with a drawing about differences between propaganda and reality. One Soviet journalist visited this exhibition and as a result I got six months of prohibition on publication of my drawings in the Soviet press. Fortunately, today every author has a great field for creation all over the world.’

How, in your opinion, can cartoons contribute to greater freedom?

‘Cartoons cannot contribute to greater freedom. Cartoons can appeal to freedom and criticize restrictions. But there is no kind of art that can exist without freedom.’


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