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:
Over the last six months, we have been involved in the production of four comics on post-election violence in Kenya and Ivory Coast for Justice Hub. Two weeks ago, we published the first of these comics and on Wednesday we will publish the second, about a woman struggling to love her child, who was conceived in a gang rape. The comic is based on an interview by Jack Owiso and is drawn by Kenyan comic artist Victor Ndula.
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.
Julian PENA-PAI is an award-winning cartoonist from Romania.
Over the last six months, we have been involved in the production of four comics on post-election violence in Kenya and Ivory Coast. These comics were commissioned by Justice Hub and had their first publication there, but they will also be published on Cartoon Movement in the coming weeks. On Wednesday, we publish the story of Calvins, a young father of two who became a looter after the 2007 election result in Kenya.