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December 2020

Digital cartoon wall at WPFC2020

5) Niels Bo Bojesen - Denmark
Cartoon by Niels Bo Bojesen

On December 9 and 10, the World Press Freedom Conference 2020 (WPFC) will take place online and in The Hague, the Netherlands. The WPFC gathers journalists, media companies, human rights defenders, members of the judiciary, policymakers, academics, youth, NGOs and everyone who is interested in press freedom worldwide.

Journalists and cartoonists have faced increasing pressure in recent years; we published an emergency statement earlier this year. Especially now, in times of uncertainty (caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of terrorism), a free press is essential in helping us cope, understand and overcome the crisis. This makes it all the more necessary to come together to stand up for a free, independent press and the safety of journalists.

During the conference, and in the week before, Cartooning for Peace and Cartoon Movement invite you to share your own thoughts, ideas, comments, concerns, sketches or photos regarding press freedom and artistic freedom. Between December 2 and December 10, we'll be collecting the best comments and ideas, and giving them to our community of cartoonists to work into political cartoons about press freedom.

The results will be published on our project page. The best cartoons will also be used during the conference and be shared on social media. If your comment gets turned into a cartoon, you could win a high quality art print of that cartoon to hang on your wall!

So how can you share your thoughts, sketches, photos? Easy! Via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #digitalcartoonwall. Or just send an email to [email protected]

10 haunting cartoons about children

World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare. We join in with these 10 cartoons that highlight there is still a long way to go to ensure every child, wherever he or she is born, is happy, healthy and safe...

Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. That is 23 girls every minute. Nearly 1 every 3 seconds. Cartoon by Marilena Nardi from Italy:


Child labor is is still widespread, for instance in coffee cultivation. Something to think about the next time you sip an overpriced cappuccino. Cartoon by Niels Bo Bojesen from Denmark:



Some 149 million children live in countries affected by armed conflict. This cartoon by Portuguese cartoonist Vasco Gargalo is titled 'Children of war':



Thousands of children are not only witnessing the atrocities of war, they are serving as soldiers in armed conflicts around the world. These boys and girls are sometimes as young as 8 years old. Cartoon by Italian artist Paolo Lombardi:


And we haven't even talked about domectic violence. According to the WHO, nearly 3 in 4 children - or 300 million children - aged 2–4 years regularly suffer physical punishment and/or psychological violence at the hands of parents and caregivers. Cartoon by Bulgarian artist Trayko Popov:



Whether it be war or domestic abuse, children are often caught in the middle. Cartoon by Ajie Mandiri from Indonesia:



Abuse is a problem, but so is negligence. This beautiful (and apt) illustration is by Agim Sulaj:



And how can you have a happy childhood when your parent has orthodox or other extremist ideas? Cartoon by Musa Gumus from Turkey:

Musa GUMUS-Child


One in six children live in extreme poverty, a figure that is on the rise because of the pandemic. Cartoon by Abdallah from Egypt:



And let's not forget about the estimated 100 million homeless children worldwide (estimate by UNICEF). Cartoon by Dutch cartoonist Tjeerd Royaards:



As we mentioned at the top of this post, there is a long way to go...

Keyvan Varesi wins World Press Freedom cartoon competition

Award ceremonyKevan Varesi received the award certificate from Jaap Werner, the Dutch ambassador in Tehran.

Keyvan Varesi from Iran is the proud winner of the World Press Freedom Conference cartoon competition, organized by Cartoon Movement and Cartooning for Peace. He was rewarded with this certificate by the Netherlands Embassy in Iran today. To celebrate WPFC2020, this cartoon competition was launched in the beginning of the year. Cartoonist could submit cartoons about pressfreedom and journalism without fear or favour. Over 800 cartoons from all over the world were submitted, of which Keyvan’s cartoon is the winner.

1. Keyvan Varesi  - Iran [WINNER]


In addition to the winner, the jury selected an honorable mention to Jugoslav Vlahovic from Serbia:

2. Jugoslav Vlahovic - Serbia [HONORABLE MENTION]


A further 8 cartoons were slected to complete a top 10 that will be presented at the WPFC 2020:

3. Niels Bo Bojesen - DenmarkNiels Bo Bojesen - Denmark


4. Naji Benaji - MoroccoNaji Benaji - Morocco


5. Esmaeil Babaei - IranEsmaeil Babaei - Iran

6. Moro - CubaMORO - Cuba


7. Sherif Arafa - EgyptSherif Arafa - Egypt


8. Angel Boligan - MexicoAngel Boligan - Mexico


9. - Osama Hajjaj - JordanOsama Hajjaj - Jordan


10. Saeed Sadhegi - IranSaeed Sadhegi - Iran


These cartoons will be shown at an exhibition in the Sound and Vision Institute The Hague, a media museum that recently opened in the center of The Hague. The exhibition will open on December 8. If you are in The Hague, make sure to check it out! If not, you can always register for WPFC and visit the digital cartoon wall, an initiative of Cartoon Movement and Cartooning for Peace where cartoonists from all over the world will create cartoons about topics and sessions that are addressed during WPFC. Congratulations Keyvan!

Making ends meet around Virunga

Sample 3

This comic was produced for the Centre of Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). It was supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC).

The story focuses on Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The park is Africa’s most biodiverse protected area, and the park guards are seen as heroes, creating a safe environment for tourists and protecting the wildlife. However, the people living near the park tell a different story. The family in this comic is fictional, but the story they tell is based on testimonies, gathered in Verweijen, J., Kubuya, S., Mahamba, E., Marijnen, E., Murairi, J., and Mvano, C. (2020) Conflicts around Virunga National Park: Grassroots perspectives. The Hague: Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law. The artwork is by Didier Kassi.

This summer we relaunched our website; the new comics journalism section is currently being developed and will be online soon. That's why we are publishing this comic on our blog first. Read the comic below or download the PDF version here. A French version is available here.

This comic is part of a series of six comics on public authority in different countries in Africa. Other installments:

Vigilantes: security or insecurity?











Next week: new comics journalism

SampleFragment from Making ends meet around Virunga.

Next week, on Wednesday November 11, we will publish the second comic in our series of comics journalism about public authority in Africa, made together with the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. Making end meet around Virunga (artwork by Didier Kassai) tells the story of a family living next to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park guards are often hailed as heroes of environmental protection, but this family tells a different story.

The first comic in this series, about vigilante justice in Uganda, can be read here.