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Cartoonists' Associations UK and France Leave FECO

Tnt_pencil__marian_kamenskyCartoon by Marian Kamensky.

In 2015, we reported on FECO, the Federation of Cartoonists Organisations, and the questionable cooperation of FECO with the Iran House of Cartoon, one of the organizers of the infamous Holocaust Cartoon Competition.

In December 2016, FECO France decided to leave FECO and to change its name to France-Cartoons. Here is an excerpt from their statement, which can be read in full here.

You have all followed, with great interest or not, the gloomy affair of the holocaust contest organised by the Tehran House of Cartoons and the inappropriate presence of the international Feco president among the competitors. That second “Holocaust Contest” was directly targeting the green Charlie cover “All has been forgiven” and the sorrowful gatherings after the Charlie slaughter.

We asked for explanations from the Feco international board and succeeded in having the president resign. Elections were duly set up. It seems that the candidates list had neither been submitted to the Feco-France vote nor to the Feco-Israel one nor to the Feco-España one and perhaps some more. Those elections were rather odd since the former resigning president happened to become a vice president without having ever been a candidate.
After a unanimous consent at the General Assembly, we agreed we had to leave the Feco International.

Last week, the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (PCO) in the United Kingdom decided to leave FECO:

After a great deal of thought by the PCO Committee and through consulting our members, PCO [UK] has decided to leave FECO forthwith.

This is a very sad decision, but has been brought about by FECO’s involvement with a Holocaust themed cartoon contest offered by the Iran House of Cartoon, known Holocaust deniers.

PCO cannot allow itself to be associated in any way with holocaust denial.

Perhaps, looking into the future, when FECO reorganises so that it is no longer associated in any way with holocaust denial PCO might apply to re-join.  In the meantime PCO intends to maintain good relations with individual cartoonists’ organisations such as France-Cartoon, formerly FECO France. But as of now we do not consider ourselves a member of FECO.

To our knowledge, FECO has not yet publicly responded.

Cartoon Project: Myths of the Global Arms Trade

Fear_mongering_to_justify_the_arms_business__tomas_rBL4HkG                                                   Fearmongering to justify the arms business. Cartoon by Tomas.

The World Peace Foundation has for some years been pursuing a project to expose the myths that are used to sustain a bloated, corrupt, and dangerous global arms business. We are teaming up with the WPF to produce cartoons that illustrate the 7 myths that sustain the global arms trade:

Myth 1: Higher military spending equals increased security.
Myth 2: Military spending is driven by security concerns.
Myth 3: We can control where arms go after they’re purchased and how they are used.
Myth 4: The defense industry is a key contributor to national economies.
Myth 5: Corruption in the arms trade is only a problem in developing countries.
Myth 6: National security requires blanket secrecy.
Myth 7: Now is not the time to challenge the global arms business.
(Bonus) Myth 7.5: Nothing can be done about it.

For a short explanation of these myths, read this PDF. For more information, visit Check out all submissions in our project newsroom.

This is our second project with the World Peace Foundation. In 2012, we created a series of cartoons about peace in the 21st century, inspired by the visuals used by the international peace movement in the early 20th century.

Cartoon Project: Miami Safe Haven

Together with the The Netherlands Consulate General in Miami and the Florida International University we are organizing a series of cartoon workshops on a range of topics, including migration and the environment.

WorkshopWorkshop at Florida International University

The workshops are given by Garrincha and challenge students to think about problems and potential solutions visually, resulting in cartoon ideas or sketches that our uploaded to our user newsroom. The best ideas are selected by our cartoonists and made into professional cartoons.

Here are some examples from the project:

Student idea: Doctor driving past an immigrant yelling: 'You are stealing our jobs!'. The immigrant looks blindly as he cuts someone's lawn.

Garonzi and Mohtarami
Cartoons by Luca Garonzi and Abolfazl Mohtarami, original idea by Rodrigo Miragaya.

Sketch by Josh Eisenberg, cartoon by Gezienus Bruining.

You can see many more cartoons in the project newsroom.

The end of the project will be marked by an exhibition of the best cartoons and the ideas they are based upon, which will take place in Miami in May 2017.

Questions of Copyright

Questions of copyright is a monthly feature in which we share some of our questions and concerns about how and where cartoons from Cartoon Movement are used without our permission.

WebsitesScreenshots of and

In this edition we highlight two websites that are something of a mystery to us.

The first is one is the recently launched (we think), which defines itself as an ‘art community’, has been reposting almost all of our cartoons, as soon as the are posted in our newsroom. We tried to contact them, but they do not have contact information on their website.

The second one is, which has been around longer. This is another cartoon aggregator site, posting many cartoons from around the world.  We have contacted them several times, but never received a reply.

Both websites do credit the artists whose work they post, but neither of them asks artists for their permission, nor do they link back to Cartoon Movement, which seems to be a big provider of content for the two websites. The purpose of these websites is rather mystifying; there seems to be no revenue model or general mission. If anyone reading this has more information on the purpose of these website or who is behind them, we’d like to hear from you.

Exhibition of South Sudan Comics at LSE

The London School of Economics is hosting an exhibition of infographic comics visualising research on South Sudan undertaken by the Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP).  The comics represent a collaboration between the JSRP and Kenyan cartoonist Victor Ndula, facilitated by JSRP partner The Cartoon Movement. The graphics explore political, social and economic developments since 2011 in the world’s newest country.





This exhibition is open to all, no ticket required. Visitors are welcome during weekdays (Monday - Friday) between 10am and 8pm. Please note the exhibition will close at 3pm on Friday 27 January.

If you can't make it to the exhibition, the comics are available to read online here.

South Sudan - The Political Marketplace

Date: Monday 9 January - Friday 27 January 2017
Time: Mon-Fri 10am-8pm
Venue: Atrium Gallery, Old Building

Two Years After Charlie, Cartoonists Are Still Persecuted


On the eve of the second anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Cartooning for Peace, Cartoon Movement and other press cartoonist associations pay tribute to all press cartoonists who defend media freedom by means of their cartoons.

How you wield a pencil can still lead to violent reprisals. Only too often, cartoonists pay a high price for their irony and impertinence. The threats they receive are barometers of free speech, acting as indicators of the state of democracy in times of trouble.

It is hard to say whether cartoonists are more exposed since the attack that killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo in Paris on 7 January 2015. But they continue to be subjected to political, religious and economic pressure, to censorship, dismissal, death threats, judicial harassment, violence and, in the worst cases, even murder. As a profession, they are clearly threatened.

“Since the Charlie tragedy, many cartoonists have lived under constant political, religious and economic pressure, and pressure from non-state groups as well,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

“Accusations of offending religion are too often used as a tool of political censorship. It is essential to remember that international law protects cartoonists because it safeguards the right to express and disseminate opinions that may offend, shock or disturb.”

Cartooning for Peace president Plantu (Jean Plantureux) said: “Many cartoonists bear witness, in their battles and in the harassment and threats they receive, to the importance they assign to their efforts to raise awareness. Since the Charlie terrorist attacks, other tragic events have confirmed that, more than ever, we need to pursue our fight for freedom, one that is also waged with the pencil.”

RSF, Cartooning for Peace, Cartoon Movement and the other press cartoonist associations have compiled the following profiles of cartoonists who have been dismissed, arrested, imprisoned or threatened because of their cartoons.

The chosen cartoonists are Zunar, who has been hounded by the Malaysian authorities for years and is be tried at the end of January; Tahar Djehiche, an Algerian cartoonist who was given a jail sentence for insulting President Bouteflika; Musa Kart, the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet’s well-known cartoonist, who is now in jail; and Rayma Suprani, who was fired from the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal over her cartoons about the government and now lives in exile in the United States.

Sometimes just reposting a cartoon can lead to prosecution and imprisonment. This is what happened to Tunisian blogger Jabeur Mejri, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in 2012 in connection with his Facebook posts.

ZUNAR (Malaysia)

Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque, the cartoonist better known as Zunar, is a symbol of the fight for freedom of expression in Malaysia and the government’s bugbear. Because of his cartoons denouncing the corruption in all layers of Malaysian society, he has been subjected to various kinds of persecution for nearly a decade including repeated detention, arrests of assistants and supporters, a travel ban, the closure of his website, the confiscation of his cartoons and a ban on his cartoon books.

When the opening of a Zunar exhibition was disrupted by his critics in November, the police intervened, confiscated the cartoons and ended up taking him into custody. In December, he was arrested again when he organized a sale of his books to compensate for the financial loss resulting from the exhibition’s cancellation. As a result, he is now being investigated as a threat to parliamentary democracy. He is already facing up to 43 years in prison on nine counts of violating the Sedition Act, which violates freedom of expression by making it easy to prosecute journalists and cartoonists for supposedly “seditious” content.

The pretext for Zunar’s prosecution was nine tweets critical of the government. His trial has been postponed twice in the past two years and is now due to start on 24 January. Last year he received the Cartooning for Peace Prize for his courage and determination.

PORTRAIT © Zunar (Malaisie) - Cartooning for Peace© Zunar (Malaisie) - Cartooning for Peace   

RAYMA (Venezuela)

Rayma Suprani is a Venezuela cartoonist who worked for nearly 20 years for the Caracas-based daily El Universal. Her cartoons criticized poverty, the lack of social justice and abuse of power under President Hugo Chavez, and under his successors after Chavez died in office in 2013. She had often been subjected to threats and pressure but in September 2014 she went “too far” in one of her cartoons. It portrayed public healthcare in Venezuela – which has been undermined by the crisis in the petrodollar economy – as an electrocardiogram that began with Chavez’s well-known signature and then flatlined. She was immediately fired by El Universal, which had just been acquired by someone more sympathetic to the Chavista government. Deprived of her source of income, she fled to the United States, where she continues to use her pencil to fight for freedom of expression.

DESSIN INCRIMINE © Rayma (Venezuela) - Cartooning for Peace                                        © Rayma (Venezuela) - Cartooning for Peace 

MUSA KART (Turkey)

During the wave of arrests that followed last July’s failed coup in Turkey, the police detained a dozen employees of the leading opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on 31 October. They included editor Murat Sabuncu, the newspaper’s lawyer, and its well-known cartoonist, Musa Kart. The head of the Istanbul prosecutor’s office said they were suspected of committing crimes on behalf of the Gülen movement (which is accused by the government of orchestrating the coup attempt). “For years I have tried to transcribe what we live through in this country in the form of caricatures and today it seems that I have entered one of them,” Kart said at the time. “What explanations will they give to the rest of the world? I have been taken into police custody because I drew cartoons!”

Musa is currently waiting behind bars for a trial date. His colleagues from all over the world are drawing cartoons in solidarity, some of them even being published in Cumhuriyet at the spot originally reserved for his. He is no stranger to harassment from the regime. In 2014, following the publication of one cartoon referring to a money laundering scandal involving Erdogan he faced 9 years imprisonment.


DESSIN INCRIMINE 2014 © Musa Kart (Turquie)                          © Musa Kart (Turquie) - Cartooning for Peace


The Algerian cartoonist Tahar Djehiche posted a cartoon on social networks in April 2015 showing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika being buried under the sand of In Salah, a Saharan region where the population has been protesting against the use of fracking to produce shale gas. His aim was to draw attention to the environmental dangers of shale gas production by this means in Algeria, but he was charged with insulting the president and “inciting a mob.” He was acquitted in May 2015, but was convicted on appeal the following November and was sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of 500,000 dinars. Many international organizations have condemned this absurd and incomprehensible decision, especially as it is still not known who was responsible for the appeal.


DESSIN INCRIMINE © Tahar Djehiche (Algérie) - Cartooning for Peace                                                                               © Tahar Djehiche (Algérie) - Cartooning for Peace 


A 29-year-old Tunisian blogger, Jabeur Mejri was prosecuted in March 2012 for posting cartoons and satirical texts on social networks at a time of continuing tension just over a year after President Ben Ali’s removal, when anything to do with religion was extremely sensitive. The cartoons, in particular, were deemed to have insulted Islam. He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison and a fine of 1,200 dinars on charges of disrupting public order, causing wrong to others, and violating morality. He was strongly defended by human rights groups, which regarded him as one of the first prisoners of conscience since the fall of the Ben Ali regime. After two years in prison, he was finally pardoned by President Moncef Marzouki and was released in March 2014. He was arrested again the following month on a charge of insulting an official. After a second pardon in October 2014, he left Tunisia.

© Willis from Tunis (Tunisie) - Cartooning for Peace                                        © Willis from Tunis (Tunisie) - Cartooning for Peace 


Christophe Deloire, Reporters sans frontières



Plantu, Cartooning for Peace


Ann Telnaes, The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists



Joel Pett, Cartoonists Rights Network International



Tjeerd Royaards, Cartoon Movement