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Drawing Citizenship

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The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and the Cartoon Movement are joining forces to explore perspectives on the upcoming European elections through comics and cartoons. ‏Between 31 March and 25 May 2014, we are inviting comic artists and cartoonists to reflect on European citizenship and the various issues that are currently facing Europe. We are not just interested in the EU, but we would like to hear perspectives from countries that are part of European citizens’ daily lives across the continent and beyond.

‏A firm believer that Europe is powered by culture, this year ECF is celebrating its 60th year of bridging people through arts and culture and connecting local cultural change-makers and communities across Europe. ECF recognises the power of comics and cartoons to tackle pressing European issues, bringing a fresh dimension to the discourse on democracy and human rights.

Cartoon Movement is a community of political cartoonists that brings together over 250 artists from more than 80 countries. The movement publishes cartoons and comics journalism on a range of international issues, and defends the right of cartoonists to express themselves without fear of censorship or retaliation. ‏

In the run up to the European elections, we invite you to challenge prevailing notions of democracy and representation, to reflect on alternatives, and to offer fresh perspectives on more inclusive societies across Europe and beyond. In short, we ask: what is the future of Europe? Will it be a fortress designed to keep other people out, or no more than a free trade zone? Will Europe evolve into something more, a political entity with a true European citizenry? We welcome cartoons and comics that touch upon any of these issues.

Submission guidelines

The competition is open to anybody who has a perspective to share on European issues and more specifically on the upcoming European elections, whatever their nationality or country of residence.

Professionals and amateur comic artists and cartoonists are invited to send in their work.

‏There is no age limit. - Artwork should be sent as a .jpg.

Cartoons will be displayed online at a width of max. 800 pixels, and a height of max. 560 pixels. Please make sure your cartoon or comic is readable at this size. ‏

Submissions will be evaluated on a weekly basis by ECF and the Cartoon Movement. One work will be selected every week to be published and highlighted on the ECF and Cartoon Movement websites. Each work published by ECF and the Cartoon Movement will receive a financial recognition. ‏

The duration of the project will be eight weeks, between 31 March and 25 May 2014, culminating in a collection of eight works that make a strong statement and provide a fresh reflection on the upcoming European elections. These works will be presented together into an online exhibition on the ECF and Cartoon Movement’s website.

Submit your work to the online newsroom of Cartoon Movement:

Kick Off Peace & Justice Project


Saturday March 29, our new international project Peace & Justice will be officially launched at the iconic Peace Palace in The Hague, The Netherlands. This event will be the kick off of an international cartoon competition at schools and universities.

The project is a collaboration between Cartoon Movement, World Press Photo, the city of The Hague and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is aimed at promoting article 90 of the Dutch constitution. This article calls for the Dutch government to actively contribute to 'the promotion of the international legal order'.

The event includes a lecture about the importance of an international legal order by Nico Schrijver, professor of Public International Law, and talks by CM editor Tjeerd Royaards and World Press Photo representative Anne Schaepman about how political cartoons and photography can contribute to peace and justice.

For more information, and to register for the event, go here.

Outdoor Exhibition in Amsterdam

Expo_KinkerstraatCartoon Movement is participating in an outdoor art exhibition in Amsterdam. During the month of March, the work of Amsterdam-based comic artists and cartoonists is showcased on large sheets of canvas that are wrapped around pillars in the Kinkerstraat, a busy shopping street in the west of Amsterdam.

We have been asked to participate because Cartoon Movement is based in Amsterdam, a city has an enduring reputation for tolerance and freedom. We try to live up to that reputation by defending cartoonists who get in trouble because of their work, and by offering them a space to voice their opinion, on- and (in this case offline).

Our canvas includes cartoons by Gianfranco Uber, Rainer Ehrt, Alfredo Sabat, Dan Carino, Sergei Tunin, SvitalskyBros, Tomas, Talal Nayer,Omar Turcios, Stephanie McMillan, Payam Boromand, Sunnerberg Constantin, Tjeerd Royaards, Steve Greenberg, Elchicotriste, Jean Gouders, Alfredo Martirena and Giacomo Cardelli.

If you're in the area, be sure to visit (see map below).


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Cartooning in Palestine


Illustration by Jean Gouders

Last month we reported on Palestinian Cartoonist Majda Shaheen, who received death threats in a response to one of her cartoons that was critical of Hamas. Al-Monitor has a nice follow-up, giving some context and background on the situation for political cartoonists in the Palestinian Territories:

Caricature is considered one of the most important modern art forms and a medium to which Palestinian newspapers have channeled a lot of attention. The editor-in-chief of Al-Resalah, Wissam Afifa, said that his newspaper has been interested in this art for 17 years.

“Caricatures accompanied the newspaper ever since its first issue, and the first drawing was by artist Umaya Geha,” said Afifa, who stressed that the newspaper was only published a handful of times without any cartoons. He noted that during his term as editor-in-chief, he has not intervened in the issue of caricatures, despite criticism from readers. “This art is rough — it either stirs laughter or draws complaints. In general, it is hard for the social and political environment in Palestine to receive this art with openness.”

Read the full article here.