European Cartoon Award 2024

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The European Press Prize and Studio Europa Maastricht announce the opening of the European Cartoon Award 2024, the prize for excellence in editorial cartoons.

From April 29 to June 2, 2024, editorial cartoonists will be able to submit their work for the fifth edition of the European Cartoon Award. Submitted cartoons must have had their first publication date between June 2, 2023, and June 2, 2024, with a media outlet from a country within the Council of Europe, plus Belarus, and Russia.

Founded in 2019, by the European Press Prize and Studio Europa Maastricht, the European Cartoon Award has one of the highest monetary prizes for cartoonists, granting its winner a prize of 10,000 euros.

For more information and to submit your work, go here: europeancartoonaward.com


Western Balkans media freedom cartoon competition: exhibition & winners

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In January we launched a cartoon competition, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, in the six countries that make up the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro North Macedonia and Serbia.

Out of a total of 186 submissions from 95 artists, a jury of journalism and comic professionals selected 44 works for a cartoon exhibition on media freedom. You can see all the submissions (and more info on the jury members) on our project page.The jury was also tasked with picking a winner and a runner-up. They decided to award first prize to Dušan Petričić from Serbia, with a caricature of Serbian president Vučić. The jury was impressed by the style and execution of the cartoon and the fact that the artist needed no words to convey a clear message. The cartoon also has universal appeal; if you do not know who Vučić is, you will most likely still understand the visual message.

 

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The winning cartoon by Dušan Petričić

 

Second place was awarded to Armend Ajredini from North Macedonia. Armend is an editorial illustrator for Gazeta, a publication in Kosovo. The jury complimented his clear style. They were also happy to see journalists presented not as victims, but as professionals that can alter the status qua with the work that they do.

 

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The cartoon that won second place, by Armend Ajredini

 

Although not part of the official awards, the jury also decided to give a special mention to Anastasija Visekruna, a 16-year old artist Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the message in the image might not be as straightforward as in the winning cartoons, the visual intrigued the judges and sparked debate about the meaning of the drawing. The goal of a cartoonist is to create an interesting image that will make people think; in that, Anastasija certainly succeeded.

 

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A special mention was awarded to this cartoon by Anastasija Visekruna

 

The exhibition is on display in the six countries of the Western Balkans in April and May. Here below are some impressions of the exhibitions.

 

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Podgorica - Montenegro

 

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Podgorica - Montenegro

 

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Skopje - North Macedonia

 

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Belgrade - Serbia

 

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Belgrade - Serbia

Our March newsletter is out!

Newsletter

A day late (we usually send our newsletter out on Monday) because of Easter, but our monthly update from the world of political cartooning is out. Read it here to discover our latest news and last month's most popular cartoons. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can do so here.

And remember, we also send out a newsletter every weekday with our daily cartoon, t0 which you can subscribe here.


Cartoons for human rights

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In 2018, we did a project together with the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands creating cartoons about the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Out of over 500 cartoons sent in from all over the world, 30 winning cartoons were selected; one for each article of the UDHR. The cartoons were bundled together in a booklet, a visual guide to the UDHR.

At the end of 2023, we were contacted by the Permanent Representation of the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, the WTO and other organisations in Geneva. As a kick-off for the Kingdom of the Netherlands' three-year membership in the Human Rights Council, they wanted to re-issue and update the booklet. The renewed booklet includes a lot of updated cartoons to reflect more diversity.

It was launched yesterday during the visit of our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hanke Bruins Slot, at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

 

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk and the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs Hanke Bruins Slot take a look at the booklet.

 

Foto of the books at the UN in Geneva

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The booklets distributed at the Human Rights Council in Geneva

 

This booklet is the result of a collaborative effort between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Cartoon Movement, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. An illumination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with cartoons crafted by artists from around the globe.

Download the booklet ‘Cartoons for Human Rights’.


Media freedom cartoon competition

Western Balkans cartoon competition & exhibition

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Cartoon Movement and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands invite cartoonists, illustrators and artists from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) to send in their work for a regional cartoon competition and exhibition with the theme Media freedom.

Media freedom is a vital component of a functioning democracy. Reliable reporting and investigative journalism inform citizens about what is going on in society and inside government, forming the basis of a healthy public debate. Cartoonists, who use their pencils to hold power accountable and to expose injustice, power abuse and corruption, cannot do their work without this freedom.

We are looking for cartoons that visualize the importance of media freedom and the value of independent journalism.

Rules of Participation

1. This competition is open to all cartoonists, illustrators and artists from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Cartoonists can submit work that is unpublished, or work that has been published before.

2. The cartoons should reflect the theme media freedom and the value of press freedom for the public debate.

3. Cartoons that contain hate speech or discrimination will not be accepted.

4. Cartoons can be in black and white or in color, and can be created using any technique.

5. Cartoons must be sent in via email to [email protected].

6. Cartoon size must not exceed A3 at 300dpi, in PNG or JPG format.

7. Each cartoonist can send in a maximum of three works.

8. Participants must include the following in their submission:

Full name & address

Email & telephone number

Short bio (max. 250 words)

9. The deadline of the competition is Friday March 1 2024, 23:59 GMT.

Prizes

1. A professional jury will convene in March 2024 to select cartoons for the exhibition and to determine the winners.

2. The first prize winner will receive €1000 and a certificate.

3. The second prize winner will receive €500 and a certificate.

4. Cartoonists selected for the exhibition will receive a certificate.

5. Selected works will be included in exhibitions hosted by Embassies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia in April and May 2024. Selected cartoons will also be published on the website of Cartoon Movement.

6. Winners and artists of selected works will be informed by April 10, 2024.

Copyright

1. The participant must certify and warrant that the submitted cartoon(s) does not violate the rights of a third party or any copyright. The competition organization is not responsible for intellectual property violations that might have resulted through the submissions of cartoons.

2. Copyright of the submitted cartoons will remain with the artist.

3. Cartoonists grant Cartoon Movement and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands a non-commercial and non-exclusive license to use the submitted work(s) in exhibitions and other publications, print and digital.


The 10 best cartoons of 2023

It has become a Cartoon Movement tradition to share the 10 'best' cartoons each year. It's an arbitrary term, as few things are as subjective as political cartoons, but we've made a selection based on what was popular with our audience and what subjects best represent the news of 2023. So here goes:

 

1. Earthquake in Turkey and Syria, by Hamzeh Hajjaj

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This cartoon captures the devastating impact of the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria in the beginning of the year.

 

2. Bothersome poverty by Rucke Souza

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2023 was yet another year of growing inequality; the super-rich continue to accumulate more of the world's wealth, at the expense of the poor.

 

3. Mug shots by Glen Le Lievre

3 Mug shots by Glen Le Lievre

Trump remains a constant in cartooning, and although Lady Justice is trying to lock him up, we fear we haven't seen the last of him...

 

4. Ideologies by Halit Kurtulmus Aytoslu

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The most popular ideology of 2023 was populism with a generous splash of racism and xenophobia.

 

5. Titan versus migrants by Mo Qasem

5. Titan versus migrants by Mo Qasem

Remember the submarine with some rich people that went missing on their way to visit the Titanic? The global rescue attempt stood in stark contrast to our (mostly non-existent) attempts to rescue migrant boats.

 

6. Jenin by Osama Hajjaj

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Before the attack on Gaza, Israel already launched a bloody military operation in Jenin this summer.

 

7. Putin’s chef by Tupou Ceruzou

7. Putin’s chef by Tupou Ceruzou

Putin's revenge on Prigozhin: a dish served cold?

 

8. Biden visits Israel by Thiago Lucas

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Gaza was probably to most cartooned subject of the year. It's difficult to just pick one cartoon from so many powerful image, but this one captures the essence of international politics and the blatant disregard for the massive loss of innocent lives.

 

9. Black Friday by Anne Derenne

9 Black Friday by Anne Derenne

Consumerism captured in a cartoon.

 

10. Happy new year? by Marian Kamensky

10 Happy new year  by Marian Kamensky

So what do we have to look forward to? Well, more of the same...

 

See you next year!


1 year of standing with Ukraine: social media toolkit

24 February will mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our cartoonists have drawn hundreds of cartoons about the Russian aggression, mocking Putin, condemning the atrocities of war, warning about the threat of nuclear war.

To keep the war in the spotlight, we've created a social media toolkit with 10 of the best cartoons drawn in the past year. Feel free t0 share one or more of them on any of your social media channels. It also includes a video slideshow.

Download the social media kit here as a .zip, which even includes a suggested text for your post(s). Thanks for sharing!

 

 

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1. Emad Hajjaj - Jordan

2. Carlos David Fuentes - Cuba

3. Miguel Morales Madrigal - Cuba

4. Marilena Nardi - Italy

5. Pedro Silva - Portugal

6. Ivailo Tsvetkov - Bulgaria

7. Hajo - The Netherlands

8. Tjeerd Royaards - The Netherlands

9. Oleksiy Kustovsky - Ukraine

10. Vladimir Kazanevsky - Ukraine

 


Editorial cartoons and AI

Illustrators around the world are concerned about the impact Artificial Intelligence might have on their profession. How do political cartoonists feel about AI?

 

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Much has been written about AI in recent weeks. After ChatGPT, which can whip up written text in the blink of an eye, the focus has now shifted to image-generating AI such a Dall-E and Midjourney. Illustrators are in an uproar, both because they feel their livelihood is threatened and because the AI programs are using the work of millions of illustrators to learn how to produce compelling visuals. Many illustrators feel this is a clear violation of their copyright.

While all this has been going on, political cartoonists have stayed remarkably quiet on the subject. We wanted to find out why that is, so we sent a short survey (created by Emanuele Del Rosso) to our cartoonist community earlier this week, asking them how they feel about AI.

Cartoonists aren't that worried about AI

Over 50 of them took the time to fill out the survey. From their responses we might learn something about how editorial cartoonists think about AI in general. We first asked them how much they knew about what AI can do in relation to art, on a scale of 1 to 5. A minority of 14% confessed to know little or nothing about AI, while most cartoonists ranked themselves 3 or higher on the AI knowledge scale.

Next we asked them if they ever had used AI generated visuals for their own work. 92,6% had not. The few cartoonists who had mostly used it just to try it out, although one cartoonists used it to create reference material.

After that, we went on the the most important question: do you feel threatened by AI in your profession?

 

'I asked AI to draw a cartoon in the style of Plantu.
It gave me sketches of plants!'

 

In general, political cartoonists are not all that worried. We again used a scale of 1 to 5; no one of the respondents marked the perceived threat higher than 3, with a majority scoring it a 1, stating they weren't worried at all. We also asked them to motivate their answers. One unworried cartoonist commented: 'I asked once to an AI to draw a cartoon in the style of the French cartoonist Plantu. It gave me various sketches of plants! So I'm not worried so far.'

The ones who do see AI as (somewhat of a) threat worry about AI getting better and better and eventually replacing human artists as editors at newspapers and magazines opt for the probably cheaper option of using AI-generated illustrations and cartoons.  As one cartoonist puts it: 'Although artificial intelligence cannot do as effective things as we do, it is at a level that can satisfy the needs of people. For this reason, I think people may prefer to get free or cheaper AI products instead of investing in our work.'

The unstoppable march of technology

There is some division in how cartoonists think about the issue of AI. There is a camp that doesn't see a threat at all, as AI is not -and will never be, in their opinion- capable of creating humor and satire that way that humans can. Opposing this view, other cartoonists believe that technology will continue to improve to the point where AI will be able to create political cartoons that are as good as the ones made by humans. Most cartoonists agree, however, that the march of technology is unstoppable. Some of them express the hope that AI will be regulated, providing some measure of protection for human creators. A few point out that it might become a useful tool in the creation of cartoons.

 

'It’s a development that’s here to stay.
Be creative, work around it, deal with it.
'

 

01-Thinker-OSVAL-CUBACartoon by OSVAL

 

I'm not surprised by the outcome of the survey, which mostly align with my own thoughts about AI, and with my expectations of other cartoonists' perceptions. I think most cartoonists don't feel threatened (yet), because AI is currently not able to produce satire. One could argue that drawing is not our core business; the core of political cartoons is the idea, which we then translate into a visual metaphor.

While illustrators probably have reason to be worried about the ability of computers to generate images on command, I expect there is some way to go before AI is able to match a skill and wit of a good cartoonist. That said, there the possibility that people without drawing skills might use AI to produce their own editorial cartoons, supplanting the need for us political artists. But we've already seen this with memes, which have added to the field of satire, but certainly haven not replaced editorial cartoonists. I suspect this is because creating cartoons requires a rather specific skill-set, one you only get by doing it, a lot.

But perhaps the main, and most cynical, reason most cartoonists do not fear AI is that being a cartoonist isn't much of a business model anyway. Since making money in our little niche of the labor market is already so incredibly hard, how much worse could AI make it?

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor


The best cartoons of 2022

The end of the year is fast approaching, so it’s time for our selection of the best cartoons of 2022. December 15 is an extra special day for us, as Cartoon Movement went live on this date in 2010, making us 12 years old today! We hope to bring you great international cartoons for many years to come!

In 2022, a whopping 10,080 cartoons were uploaded to Cartoon Movement. It is beyond difficult to select 10 cartoons from this immense pool of satire. It also means a lot of subjects were left out, like the resignation of Boris Johnson (and then Liz Truss), the death of Queen Elizabeth and the US midterms, to name just a few.

The tradition selection of 10 cartoons is based on what did well with our audience, what we think were the most important subjects of the year that must be included and which ones we as editors liked a lot. It's far from objective, but we hope you enjoy them nonetheless!

 

Equal rights

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This cartoon by Cuban cartoonist Raimundo Llerena Ferrer shows how inequality starts at birth.

 

I come in peace

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This cartoon by Martin Chren was made the day following Putin's invasion of Ukraine, capturing perfectly the gap between Putin's rhetoric and his actions.

 

Save Ukraine

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This cartoon by Khalid Cherradi addresses a point that many cartoonists made when commenting on the invasion of Ukraine. If African refugees, the people in conflict-torn countries like Syria or Yemen, or the people living in Gaza got even half of the attention that Ukraine got in 2022, they would be a lot better off.

 

Russian insomnia

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We can't predict the future, but the war in Ukraine could well be known as Putin's folly in future history books. Many cartoonists have drawn this folly, but this cartoon by Dutch cartoonist Hajo commenting on Sweden and Finland joining NATO perfectly visualizes how we imagine Putin has often felt since he launched his invasion.

 

Dinner party

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With corona in the past, 2022 was also the year that saw the return of climate and environmental summit, like COP27 about the climate crisis and COP25 about biodiversity, jetting in world leaders from across the globe to meet in a luxurious setting and discuss the demise of the planet. Cartoon by Luc Vernimmen.

 

Gun culture

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2022 saw it's fair share of mass shootings in the US. Awantha Artigala drew a line between foreign policy and domestic violence.

 

Abortion rights aborted

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A rather visceral cartoon by Vasco Gargalo (who often manages to make our selection of best cartoons), commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

 

Washing machine 

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Obviously we couldn't have a top 10 without at least one cartoon about the World Cup in Qatar. This one by Daniel Garcia was the most popular.

 

Under new management

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And what will become of Twitter in 2023? Cartoon by Bahram Arjmandnia.

 

Iran protests

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Another topic that had to be included is the uprising in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini. Cartoon by Jawad Morad.

 

With that striking visual we come to an end of our top 10 for this year. Want to seee more? Take a look at the cartoons we selected in 2021 and 2020. Our just go to our main website.