Ahmed Falah is an Iraqi cartoonist. His work is very popular in Iraq, and so powerful is lead to threats from armed militias, forcing Ahmed to flee from Baghdad to Jakarta, Indonesia. Read more about him in Al-Monitor and check out more of his work on his Facebook page.
Recently, one of our cartoonists proposed making it possible for students of an Italian art academy to upload their work and to get it reviewed by our professional cartoonists. This seemed like a great idea, so we set up a section called The Student Newsroom.
The response has been very positive, and we’ve decided to keep this section open and to make it available to all art students and amateur cartoonists. If you're looking to get pointers from our cartoonists, please feel free to register and upload your work. When uploading, select 'The Student Newsroom' from the dropdown menu.
The International Cartoon Contest & Exhibition 2018 invites all cartoonists to make us forget to be scared and find different ways of (re)connecting. Cartooning at its finest is a spring of hope. It gives us ways to critically rethink and find alternatives to bridge the "us" and "them". We get to see the human in the other. Differences in culture or language are no longer too strange or too much to take in. We see that differences are what make for a colorful world. We deserve to be living in a colorful human world and The International Cartoon Contest & Exhibition 2018 invites all cartoonists to take part to make it a reality.
Below is all the information you need to submit:
Another cartoonist arrested, this time in India. From The Hindu:
'Last week, the Tamil Nadu police arrested the cartoonist G. Bala. His offence was creating and posting a cartoon that was an “obscene” portrayal of the Chief Minister and other officials. Bala’s cartoon showed the chief minister, the collector and the police chief standing naked except for the proverbial ‘fig leaves’ comprising wads of cash while a child lay burning in front of them.'
The cartoon was in response to a man and wife setting themselves and their two children on fire, allegedly due to harassment by a money-lender and is a critique of the failure government officials to combat usury, despite widespread condemnation from political parties.
We obviously condemn the arrest of yet another cartoonist (he has been released on bail), in what is a pattern of harassment of journalists in that part of India. However, it is also interesting to see how this arrest reveals how uncomfortable many Indian journalists are with hard-hitting cartoons.
The Hindu has a piece that condemns arrest of the cartoonist, but goes on to say how newspaper editors provide a necessary filter for cartoons and ‘editorial judgement’. While we can agree that a good editor can have value, we love the fact that social media has given cartoonists the ability to share cartoons that would never see any ink because of conservative editors.
‘A cartoon should make you smile and not cringe.’ observes colleague Indian cartoonist Mathi, in what we at Cartoon Movement feel must be one of the most senseless statements ever to be made by a cartoonist. Some of the very best cartoons ever made are ones that make you cringe. They hurt to look at, precisely because they expose a painful injustice and, in doing so, transfer feelings of guilt and shame to the viewer. They are the best cartoons, because they are most likely to inspire action to remedy that particular injustice.
While it is difficult to gauge the impact of a local cartoon from afar, this one seems to be hard-hitting but hardly ‘obscene’. Given its social media engagement it also struck home with many people. So, in our opinion, a cartoon that certainly doesn’t warrant an arrest, but also one that might have very well deserved to see print, despite what the editors at The Hindu think.
Within the field of journalism, editorial cartoonists are often considered to be an outside category. As a consequence, cartoonists are excluded from many journalism awards. We firmly believe that cartoonists are journalists and should be considered as such; they should be included in professional journalist organizations and they should be eligible for journalistic awards.
We are happy to announce a step in the right direction. Earlier this year, we talked to the organizers of the European Press Prize to see if it would be possible to include cartoonists. The European Press Prize is a prestigious award for excellence in journalism. This year, for the first time, cartoonists are eligible to submit their work in the category ‘opinion’:
In print and online, opinion is one of the basic forms of journalism. Columnists explain, interpret and give a particular focus to the news. Commentators help cast off old ideas and develop new ones. Opinion is journalism’s essential commentary on the world we live in. Entries in the section may come from columnists or bloggers, but may also include single pieces of up to 5,000 words – from regular contributors or guest writers. Editorials that are necessarily anonymous but properly attributed may be considered. So may cartoons that argue a case with wit and visual impact. The judges will look particularly for cogency, originality and arguments that have an impact in public life.
Cartoonists must work in one of the 47 countries that are member of the Council of Europe and your work must have been published by a European media organization. Work must be send in before December 15. The prize to be won is 10,000 euro. For all the rules and to submit work, visit the European Press Prize website.
Cartoon Movement, EG Justice and Cartoonists Rights Network International along with a coalition of international organizations invite cartoonists and artists from around the world to support the #FreeNseRamon campaign.
Cartoonist Ramón Esono Ebalé was arrested on September 16 in Equatorial Guinea and was extensively interrogated in front of witnesses about his provocative drawings of members of the government. He is being held on trumped up charges of counterfeiting and money laundering, but has yet to be formally charged. He has unjustly spent over 50 days in prison without a clear prospect for release. His imprisonment appears to be a deliberate attempt to curtail his freedom to express himself through his art and writings. View Ramon's work at www.jamonyqueso.co.
Please note there is a Spanish language initiative running in cooperation with our campaign at www.freenseramon.com.
Show your support for Ramon's release by sharing your illustration with the following hashtag: #FreeNseRamon
Please keep in mind the campaign exclusively aims to get Ramon released from prison because he is innocent.
Our goal is to bring attention to his plight. We are not requesting artwork that is critical of government officials in Equatorial Guinea as we do not want to do anything to jeopardize his case.
Select art will be displayed on the EG Justice #FreeNseRamon website.
The campaign will run from now until Ramon's release from prison.
More details about his arrest here.
More on Equatorial Guinea at EgJustice.org.
Cartoonists Right Network International has announced this year’s recipient of the CRNI Award: Ramón Esono Ebalé, a cartoonist from Equatorial Guinea who is currently imprisoned in Equatorial Guinea’s notorious Black Beach prison under as yet unspecified charges.
Ramón is a gifted and outspoken graphic novelist and editorial cartoonist. Every year this award is given to the cartoonist or cartoonists who have exhibited great courage and self-sacrifice in the pursuit of their craft and in the exercise of free speech.
The Equatorial Guinean government, one of the most notorious kleptocracy’s in Africa, is clearly angered by his outspoken comic and cartoon based criticism of the ruling family. Government seems to be reluctant to charge him with any human rights/free-speech violations and have rather chosen to cook up outrageous charges of money laundering and currency counterfeiting to imprison him. Even now, at this writing, they seem to be having difficulty coming up with any evidence that would withstand international scrutiny.
Mr. Ebalé’s continuous refusal to be intimidated by the threats made against him, and his courage in the face of a brutal and repressive regime led our Board of Directors to make this decision. The award will be given in absentia during the proceedings of the annual convention of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists on November 4, 2017 at a venue on the Hofstra University campus in Long Island, New York.
Well known Jordan cartoonist and CM contributor Emad Hajjaj is being investigated over a cartoon criticizing the Greek Orthodox Church. The investigation comes after a ‘contempt of religion’ complaint was filed by a citizen.
The cartoon criticized the Patriarch of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church for selling off church owned properties in Jerusalem to the Israeli occupation authorities. The cartoon depicted Jesus Christ on the cross saying ‘I am Christ the son of Mary and I disown Patriarch Theophilos III and all of those who were involved with him in selling the noble Greek Orthodox Church to the Israeli occupation.’
The cartoons triggered many angry responses on social media, and Emad has even received death threats.
Although the investigation is ongoing, Emad has been released and has not been charged with anything yet.
Read more about this case here.