Cartoons at war: some thoughts on 'conflict drawing'

By Emanuele Del Rosso

When large-scale catastrophes, like a natural disaster, the election of Trump, or a war like the Ukrainian one, happen, cartoonists are ready to fire their best drawings. But how hard is it to portray such a polarizing situation as a war? Very hard, let me tell you why.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine - it's been more than a month, time really flies like a hypersonic Russian rocket against a hospital - my social media and website stats have, well, boomed. It might be because I've been drawing more - driven by anger, and a little bit by fear - for a war that seems so near. Proximity is a thing, and I can't apologize for feeling this conflict more than I feel others.

 

Target - Del Rosso_1

I know, though, that the main reason why people are sharing, liking, and commenting on my cartoons - and the ones of my colleagues, for sure - is that everyone needs information. Trying to make sense of this mess, we resort to the most immediate, most shearable, and often most effective content that populates our social media: cartoons.

But in this baillamme of hearts and thumb-ups, I started asking myself some questions about the position a cartoonist should take towards a conflict. Nothing is black and white, and even if something can be right or wrong, it is worth exploring all the aspects of it, to find a space for reflection.

Here are some of my doubts and thoughts.

Neutrality? Oh c'mon!

Let's start by saying neutrality is not a thing. It was never a thing.
Neutral cartoons simply don't exist, because the meaning of a cartoon lives in the proverbial "eye of the beholder," the mind - and taste - of the public. We put out a cartoon with an idea in mind, sure of its meaning, and then people take it and do what they want with it.

A perfectly neutral cartoon should be a blank slate. But not even, because I can see the clever reader seeing in the white of the canvas a deep longing for peace, and the irony of the cartoonist that, lost for words, uses "white noise" to signify conflict and its opposite, peace, and destruction. Or one can simply scroll down, for some more interesting content.

Sorry for who of you asks for objectivity and neutrality. I'd tell you to go to Switzerland - famously neutral - but even they choose a side in this war.

Emergency prompts oversimplification

In the first days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a flurry of emotional cartoons and blazing political commentary stormed the web.

 

Making Europe - Del Rosso

And this happens whenever a tragedy unfolds. A kind of knee-jerk response, totally motivated, and yet also completely uncontrolled. I've been hit by this war unlike any other war before - I already said proximity is, unfortunately, an important factor in how much we care about a specific emergency - and I've drawn my fair deal of "knee-jerky" cartoons.

But the problem with an emotional response to an emergency is that there is no space for a correct analysis. Editorial cartoons are there to help people explore a topic, understand its different angles, and reason about it. We want to take an issue into our hands and turn it around, put it under bright light, peek into each and every crack and crevice.

I am not saying Putin's war is right, or that we should be skeptical of the suffering of the Ukrainian people, of course! They need all of our support. But, in this emergency as in every other emergency, we need to keep an eye on the bigger picture, and editorial cartoons are there to remind us we need to stay sharp.

At war with war

How many cartoons with white doves can you see, before feeling the urge of shooting a Russian hypersonic missile at the next one?

I love doves, really. But, fellow cartoonists, I have a question for you: Do we really add anything to the conversation when we draw a dove, ten doves, a thousand doves, with different flags in their beaks, according to where the latest emergency takes place? There are peace doves flying everywhere, so many doves flying over your head that I hope you brought an umbrella with you!

What I mean is that it is ok to be, let's call it this way, "at war with war," but after the aforementioned knee-jerk response we have all the right to have, it is time to draw something else. Let's leave the doves alone.

It is a great time to be a cartoonist

It is a great time to be a cartoonist! No, I'm joking, it's not. It might seem that extraordinary times make for good cartoons, but in fact, they don't.

 

Outside the frame - Del Rosso

For one, polarization in the public discourse, and a lack of perspective - too many emotions involved - make a discussion almost impossible. I drew a cartoon trying to reflect on all the other - many - wars that are unfolding in the world while the Ukrainian conflict is given all the ink and paper we have, and soon I had to stop reading the comments and the messages I kept receiving, because many were unsettling.

On top of that, many cartoons are stolen, and published in media outlets that use them to better sell their narrative on a specific issue. Twisting the meaning of an editorial cartoon is not impossible, and a cartoonist can take the blame for it. When we are dealing with delicate topics, this can be quite stressful.

We live in extraordinary times

In the end, so much for "extraordinary times." We have been living in a constant state of emergency for the last, I don't know, 20 and more years. This hasn't fostered a healthy public debate, but quite the opposite: it has given real power to populist pseudo-politicians, and pushed media outlets to seek more "neutral" cartoons, to avoid polemics. "Have you got any doves cartoons? Keep 'em coming!!"

All the while, cartoonists sit there, at their tiny desks, and try to come up with something clever but thoughtful, touching but sharp, simple but complex.

And in the distance, a high-pitched whistle pierces the air, first feeble, and then louder and louder towards them, now almost unbearable, all-encompassing, definitely hypersonic.


Editorial: drawing a war

220228 Russia-UkraineCartoon by Tjeerd Royaards

The bigger the news, the bigger the response in public opinion tends to be; and few things gets a stronger response than the outbreak of a war. Although the overwhelming majority of people have denounced Russia's invasion of Ukraine, questioning the mental stability of Vladimir Putin and celebrating the unexpectedly tenacious defence of the Ukrainians in defense of their country, there have been other opinions as well.

These alternative opinions have come to us in the form of cartoons and in the form of comments on cartoons we've published (mainly on our social media channels). Some are valid and some are not. I'd like to share a few of them.

When there is war, there will be refugees. This isn't unexpected. What is unexpected, given Europe's track record when it comes to refugees, is that Ukrainians have been welcomed with open arms. While no one denies the dire need of Ukrainians fleeing from violence, this has lead to the question why people from for example Syria have not been treated with the same kindness. Could it have something to do with the fact that people from Ukraine look a lot like other Europeans?

 

CM90Cartoon by Zach

 

العنصرية ضد اللاجئين_0Cartoon by Ahmad Rahma

 

Another valid point that has been raised has been the amount of attention this war has received, especially in relation to the meager coverage of some other bloody conflicts, like the one in Yemen or in Tigray in Ethiopia. There have also been numerous cartoonists who have asked the question why the Molotov cocktail has become a symbol of liberty in the hands of a Ukrainian, while it is seen as a symbol of terrorism in the hands of a Palestinian?

 

03.03.2022 catoons copyCartoon by Mikail Çiftçi

09DC7461-220E-4B70-BC7A-521520C32E1DCartoon by Rafat Alkhatib

 

Whether you disagree with these points raised by cartoonists, or have good arguments to counter them, isn't really the point. The purpose of cartoons is not only to make you think, but also to make you think about aspects of the news you might not have considered before. In that sense, asking questions about Europe's newfound generosity when it comes to (blond-haired) refugees and the media frenzy surrounding the war are perfectly legitimate subjects for cartoons.

The third, and less valid, perspective on the Ukraine war has been mainly located in the comments we have got on the cartoons we published. The argument, in short, goes something like this: because we have not devoted enough attention to the violence of the US or other Western countries over the years, we are hypocrites and should not be allowed to say anything about Putin and his war.

 

FB screenshot

                                                      Screenshot from our Facebook page

 

I'll be the first to admit that Cartoon Movement probably has a Western bias. As a European-based, English-language platform it's hard not to. And though we are host to cartoonists from every corner of the globe and their multiple perspectives, our editorial line is largely determined by international news outlets and media such as the BCC, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Reuters, DW and CNN (to name a few). And in all honesty, we've probably under-reported on the Yemen war, the bloody conflict in Tigray and numerous other news events that were worthy of cartoons, but that we missed because of our Western outlook.

But it's also true that we have published many cartoons that do cover these topics, that question Western moral superiority, the violence of US foreign policy over the decades, the human rights offenses committed by the state of Israel and many, many other subjects.

But even if we had not published one single cartoon on any of these topics, the argument made by the commenters would still be invalid. Because to say that you cannot denounce one atrocity because haven't (sufficiently) denounced other atrocities is a false argument, only meant to silence a particular voice. And one thing cartoonists should not do, is remain silent in the face of war. We encourage you to call us out when we are under-reporting (or should I say 'under-cartooning') a certain issue, but we will never listen to demands to keep silent about Putin, because you feel we haven't sufficiently bashed Biden and his predecessors.

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor


Editorial: cartoon controversy, banned books and banned satire

Political satire and Israel remains a complex issue for cartoonists and for editors alike. Following Human rights Watch, Amnesty International has labeled Israel's treatment of Palestinians apartheid. Obviously, this has been a topic our cartoonists have drawn about, and we put some of these cartoons together in a collection.

To promote the collection on our social media, we chose this cartoon by Emad Hajjaj, knowing it would probably lead to some sharp reactions:

F3533F01-DCD1-4ABF-BB53-D7EC0DE762EE

And we weren't wrong. We have received numerous comments accusing the cartoon and us of antisemitism. We also received an official notification from Twitter that someone had lodged a complaint. However, after review, Twitter found no legitimate reason to remove the tweet.

Som was this cartoon too sharp? As an editor, I like the cartoons that step close to the line without crossing it. This cartoon clearly makes the link to the apartheid regime in South Africa. It has no mention or reference to the Holocaust (we try to avoid those), but it does target Jews as a people instead of the state of Israel. However, that's needed in this cartoon for the analogy to work. Our decision to run this cartoon was based on the severeness of the issue; it deserves razor-sharp satire. But we also know some people will disagree.

We find other cartoon-related news involving the Jewish people on the other side of the pond, where a school board in Tennessee banned the revered graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman because it contained too much nudity and violence. Michael Cavna of the Washington Post has collected some great responses by US cartoonists, which you can see here.

This week also saw the 1-year anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar. The people of Myanmar continue to fight for democracy and cartoonist continue to draw protest cartoons as well. One cartoonist is drawing anonymously on our platform under the name Robin Hood. Check out his work here.

Robinhood5

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor


Editorial: a new House of Cartoons in France

Power of Press BAstonCartoon by Miguel Morales Madrigal

Last week, French president Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of a European House of Press and Satirical Cartoons in France. Good news for editorial cartooning, of course. I am of the opinion that every country should have a center for political cartooning, or a center for journalism and press freedom, with a section dedicated to political cartoons.

But controversy has arisen as to the location of the new House of Cartoons. Not surprisingly in a country as centralized as France, Macron has designated the new center will be located in Paris. France-Cartoons, the association of French cartoonists, has protested against this decision. They would like to see the new center located to Saint- Just-Le-Martel, a small village in the French countryside which is famous among cartoonists.

Saint- Just-Le-Martel already has an international cartoon center. They organize a yearly festival, which is hugely popular among cartoonists. All of the village is involved in this festival, which brings together cartoonists from all over the world. France Cartoons has called upon cartoonists to sign a protest letter to the French government. You can read more about this on the blog of US cartoonist Daryl Cagle, who is also disappointed by Macron's decision.

To be honest I'm not sure how I feel about this issue. In the spirit of full disclosure: I've never been to the annual salon in Saint- Just-Le-Martel. I've intended to go many times, but life has got in the way. Maybe if I had seen the festival in action, met the villagers and felt the atmosphere, I would also call for a reversal of Macron's decision.

But looking at it analytically from an international perspective, the benefits of locating the new center in Paris seem to outweigh the infrastructure and goodwill of people already present in Saint- Just-Le-Martel. As I see it, one of main problems facing political cartooning today is a lack of prestige. What I mean by that is that political cartoons are no longer taken as serious (which sounds like a paradox) as they once were. Sure, dictators and extremists still take them quite seriously, and still go to great lengths to silence cartoonists. But, with the exception of a short-lived 'je suis Charlie' in 2015, the general audience doesn't seem to care that much about political satire anymore.

I do not believe this is because political cartoons are becoming obsolete, or have any less (potential) impact than they had a century ago. Rather, I think this has to do with other factors, a lot of which I (and others) have written about before: the precarious economic outlooks for cartoonists as media continue to pay less and less, the tendency of newspaper editors to choose timid cartoons over sharp ones and fact that cartoonists fall between being an artist and a journalist, but are not quite either.

An international House of Cartoons is a great way to bring back some of the shine that cartooning has lost. Exhibitions, lectures and debates to put political satire on the agenda of journalists, policy-makers and the general public. And to me, at least, Paris seems a logical choice for a truly prestigious House of Cartoons.

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor


Editorial: legitimate firing of cartoonists?

The divide in society between those who choose to get vaccinated and those who decline to get jabbed can be found among cartoonists as well (check our editorial from August). This month, two cartoonists in the vaccine skeptic group were fired from their publications. In one instance, I think the firing was legitimate; in the other case, I'm not so sure.

Let's start with what I think is a legitimate dismissal: UK cartoonist Bob Moran has been fired from his position at The Telegraph. Moran has been a notable critic of the UK's strategy to deal with the pandemic, the Covid vaccine and generally accepted science about corona in general. In response to our position on anti-vax cartoons, he tweeted that Cartoon Movement had positioned itself on the wrong side of history. Here an example of his work:

 

Moran was not fired because of the cartoons he drew, but because he used Twitter to attack an NHS doctor over Covid-19 policy, stating: 'She deserves to be verbally abused in public for the rest of her worthless existence. They all do.' He later issued an apology, but his actions deeply concerned not only the Telegraph, but many other media outlets and professionals as well. He was suspended and later let go by the Telegraph.

Moran's firing was a legitimate response, I think, because cartoonists have a responsibility not only for what they draw, but also how they conduct themselves in the public debate. As a cartoonist, especially one publishing in a major newspaper, you have a privileged position to make yourself heard. With this privilege comes responsibility, also outside of the cartoons you do for that particular publication. How much responsibility is up for debate, as we shall see when discussing the next case. But using your privileged position as a media professional to threaten other people clearly crosses a line, and must have consequences.

The second cartoonist fired this month hails from Australia. Michael Leunig was fired from his position at The Age for a cartoon he made that was published on his social media accounts. In the cartoon, he compares resistance to vaccine mandates in Victoria to the bloody Tiananmen Square massacre. After the cartoon appeared in social media, he received a call from his editor, informing him that his services were no longer required, because he was out of touch with the readership of The Age. According to Leunig, the editor told him: 'this type of cartoon is not in line with public sentiment, and The Age’s readership.' He responded: 'But my job is to challenge the status quo, and that has always been the job of the cartoonist.'

 

Screen-Shot-2021-09-27-at-3.09.12-pm

 

To be clear, I don't agree with Leunig's cartoon. But he has a point when he says his job is to challenge people. Furthermore, although I find the comparison with China's oppressive regime tasteless, the cartoon is not hateful or intimidating in any way. Additionally, it wasn't even published in The Age. Perhaps the editors of The Age were looking for an excuse to get rid of Leunig (who had been working there for five decades), but doing so because he made a cartoon that your readers disagreed with seems like a poor one indeed.

Cartoonists have a responsibility, and as such can and should face consequences when they cross a line in the pulbic debate. On the other hand (and I've said this before), the default response seems to be to fire the cartoonists when he or she makes a mistake (or does anything that's not in line with the editor's wishes). In some cases, such as with Bob Moran, this response is legitimate, but in many others it's not, at least in my opinion.

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor


Editorial: keepin' busy

It's been a while since the last editorial as I've been swamped in projects this month. September is usually a busy time for Cartoon Movement, but this year we're even busier than usual. So I want to use this editorial to share some of the things we have been working on.

Our educational branch The Next Movement is going strong with projects in Lithuania, Cuba and Hungary, and a very exciting upcoming project in South Africa. We've been asked to help create a giant mural in downtown Johannesburg. The mural will be a political cartoon about the future of South Africa.

As with most of our educational projects, we're asking young people to come up with ideas and sketch these. Our cartoonists will pick the best ideas from South Africa's young generation and turn these into political cartoons. The next step is a first for us: to pick one of these cartoons and turn it into a mural.

 

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Street artist Ras Silas Motse will create the amazing wall art, based on the cartoon we select. You can see an example of his work pictured above.

CM and TNM will be present in Johannesburg in the first week of November to help with the mural and to document the process. On November 10, the mural will be unveiled by none other than South Africa's best known cartoonist, Zapiro!

In the meantime, we've also been moving ahead with our comics journalism projects. We recently finished a 15-page comic on farming and new technology in Kenya, commissioned by the LSE Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa and drawn by renowned Kenyan comic artist Maddo. We share two pages below; the full comic will be published soon.

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We're also working on new comics about agrocolonialism in the Democratic Republic of Congo and exploitation by Uber(-like companies) in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

SketchWork in progress: sketch from 'Fighting agrocolonialism in the Congo', commissioned by the University of Sussex and drawn by Didier Kassai.

And that's just a part of what we're doing. We are planning the next phase of the Evergreen satire project. We'll have more news to share soon, but you can check out a video of the launch event here. And we're launching the second season of Cartoonist 2 Cartoonist, so tune in on Tuesday October 12 at 6.30pm CEST. And, as always with C2C, if you'd like a chance to get feedback on your cartoons, send them to us at cartoons@cartoonmovement.com

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor


Editorial: 20th anniversary of 9/11

For this week's editorial, there was really no other choice than to take a look at how cartoonists visualize the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. As is often the case, we can identify a couple of categories of cartoons.

The first category is the tribute or memorial cartoon: cartoons that commemorate the tragedy of the attack, the loss of life and the emotional impact on New York City, America and the world.

 

A_sombra.1Cartoon by Vasco Gargalo

 

Wtctowersforgetnever1_pete_kreiner300 Cartoon by Pete Kreiner

 

Andrea Arroyo_September 11_20 yearsCartoon by Arroyo

 

Another perspective shows the consequences of the attacks, especially for the Middle East. Some cartoonists us the iconic image of the smoking twin towers to have something emerge from the smoke (like today's cartoon on our homepage).

 

210906 911 20th anniversaryCartoon by Tjeerd Royaards

 

September_11_and_slamic_geography__mikail__ciftciCartoon by Mikail Çiftçi

 

Other cartoonists play with the shadow cast by the twin towers, turning this into guns, or jet fighters.

 

NYC2001Cartoon by Ant

 

IMG_0627_0Cartoon by Morad Kotkot

 

It’s interesting to see the difference here between international cartoonists and US cartoonists. Right after the attacks, it was almost impossible for US cartoonists to draw critically about 9/11 and the US response (there’s a chapter devoted to this in Red Lines, a book on censorship we recently reviewed). But even 20 years later, although a collection on The Cagle Post includes a lot of cartoons that question if America’s intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was successful, there are very few US cartoons that lament the loss of lives (of non-US citizens) due to these military operations. Meanwhile, this cartoon by Dan Murphy draws a rather grim picture.

 

Nine Eleven Math Question

 

Another popular category of cartoons connect the 9/11 attack and the recent withdrawal from Afghanistan.

 

Twenty years from the Twin Towers - Del Rosso Cartoon by Emanuele Del Rosso

 

6C4CC730-A687-4AE8-8988-91684C4F490CCartoon by Dino


Several cartoonists have drawn the gruesome parallel of people jumping from the twin towers to escape the fires with people falling of the US military plane they had clung onto in a desperate attempt to escape Afghanistan.

Sketch1630966334702Cartoon by MATE

 

11sep Cartoon by Mahmoud Rifai

 

CC28C346-5956-4353-8787-BE1E20C629A5Cartoon by Emad Hajjaj

 

Visit our newsroom for even more 9/11 cartoons.

 


Editorial: cartoons and cancel culture

Political cartoonists have a problematic relationship with being woke. I decided to make this the topic of this week's editorial, because the 10 finalists of the Cancel Culture and Political Correctness cartoon competition were announced this week.  The competition is organized by Librexpression together with Cartooning for Peace and VoxEurop and asks the question if the legitimate protests against the many social and racial injustices that exist in Western countries today (the comeptition calls this woke culture) is now overshadowed by the rise of cancel culture and online outrage.

You can see the 10 finalist cartoons below (I am honored to have one of mine included), but I also wanted to share some thoughts on the topic, as it relates to cartoonists. I remember getting the invitation to send in my work for this competition, and then pondering for a long time if I had any work that would actually fit the theme. I tend not to draw about woke culture because I am ambivalent about it, and I think my ambivalence is shared by many cartoonists.

On the one hand the term woke originates in the awareness about racial prejudice and discrimination, and later came to include many other forms of social inequality. These are precisely the topics many cartoonists address in their work. Our profession is all about shedding light on (social) inequalities, and mocking those who are responsible for perpetuating these inequalities. Most cartoonists like to see themselves on the side of the oppressed, fighting for social justice with every stroke of their pencil. In short, most cartoonists consider themselves to be woke.

But cartoonists also like to see themselves as champions of freedom of expression. And this is where tension arises. Because being woke has at times (d)evolved into cancel culture, with large groups of people protesting as certain speakers where invited to speak at universities, or going after people with certain opinion on social media, with the purpose of censoring or publicly humiliating these individuals. And cartoonists have not been spared this fate; often using stereotypes as part of our visual language, the way we portray certain groups or ethnicities in our work has sparked numerous incidents in the past few years.

One that comes most readily to mind is a cartoon from 2018 by Mark Knight about Serena Williams. Another example is this cartoon by Antonio  from 2019 that sparked worldwide accusations of antisemitism and caused the New York Times to stop running cartoons altogether. 

The point here is not to argue whether these cartoons crossed a line or not, but the way that online public outrage makes any meaningful discussion impossible. Yes, cartoonist have a responsibility and definitely should be called out when they unfairly portray ethnic or other groups in their cartoons. But they are also human, and make mistakes. In both these cases (and many others), an online mob screamed for blood, the polite people calling for the cartoonists to be fired and never hired again, the not-so-polite ones calling for a lot worse. I could even argue that this mindless public outrage made the NYT editors so afraid it caused them to make their decision not to print any more cartoons, ever.

Cancel culture makes the life of cartoonists more difficult, because we continually have to be weary of not accidentally insulting people or groups of people. In the two cartoon examples above, I am pretty sure the cartoonists did not intend to cause the controversy that they did. I do have to poutn out that this caution is not wholly a bad thing, because it forces us to think about how we draw women, migrants, ethnic minorities etc. But when the consequence is total public humiliation when you get it wrong, it might be time to consider if things haven't gone a bit too far.

What's arguably even worse, it that cancel culture and social media outrage is making editors afraid of satire, reducing the number of paid spaces political cartoonist have to publish their work, or watering down the cartoons that are published. Both not good for the profession.

So it might a good time for cartoonists to explore the issue. An exhibition of 56 cartoons will be  on display from 20 September to 31 December in an exhibition in the cloister of the Monastery San Benedetto in Conversano in Italy. And as promised, here below the 10 finalist cartoons (which are presented in random order).

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor

 

Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek - Poland

07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

 

Toso Borkovic - Serbia
07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

Yoemnis DelToro - Mexico


07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

 

Niels Bo Bojesen - Denmark


07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

Marco De Angelis - Italy


07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

 

Walter Leoni - Italy
07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

Elena Ospina - Colombia
07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

Lido Contemori-Italy
07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

 

Tom Janssen - The Netherlands


07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'

 

Tjeerd Royaards - The Netherlands


07-Izabela Kowalska-Wieczorek_ Polonia-'Immersi nella pattumiera della storia'


Editorial: Cartooning the future

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Over the years, we have done numerous educational projects. Editorial cartoons work well in the classroom, because they teach students to think about what's going on in the world, about thinking critically and about the power of visual communication.

In this week's editorial, I wanted to share some cartoons from the project Cartooning the future in Lithuania that is hosted on our sister website The Next Movement. Cartooning the future challenges students from different schools throughout Lithuania to think about human rights issues, and to come up with their own cartoon ideas on the subject.

The best student sketches are then turned into professional cartoons by our global team of cartoonists.

Here is an idea by Austėja from Merkinė Vincas Krėvė gymnasium: 'My sketch portrays people who are pushing alcohol bottles off the cliff. When they push the bottles away they stay in a bright, beautiful world.'

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And the resulting cartoon by Marin Chren from Slovakia, with a slightly different take on the idea:

Alco

 

Love is Love, by Kamila from Merkinė Vincas Krėvė gymnasium.

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This idea was picked up by Zach from the Philippines.

CM68

 

Here's a sketch by Kęstutis from Merkinė Vincas Krėvė gymnasium.

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And the cartoon by Amorim from Brazil.

20210810000

 

Be sure to check out the project page on the TNM website. Not only can you find many more ideas that were turned into cartoons, the website developer added some nice features to navigate the project and compare the sketches to the cartoons.

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor

 

 


Editorial: Afghanistan in cartoons

This week was Afghanistan week at Cartoon Movement. Given the astoundingly rapid advance of the Taliban and the ensuing chaos ofter they took control of Kabul, with thousands trying to flee the new and likely oppressive regime, this is no surprise. It is unfortunate that other deserving topics, such as the earthquake in the poorest nation of Latin America, Haiti (it seems they never catch a break), didn’t see much ink because of this.

For this editorial, I wanted to keep it simple and just share a few of the best Afghanistan cartoons we’ve gotten that haven’t been featured on our homepage or on our social media channels yet.

The first topic many cartoonists chose to visualize was the chaos at Kabul airport, focusing on the desperate attempts of people to flee, climbing onto a US military aircraft as it was taking off, with deadly consequence. Cartoonists saw this as an apt metaphor of how the US was leaving without any responsibility or empathy for the Afghan people.

 

TalebanCartoon by Doaa Eladl

 

BDE757E4-3212-4CAC-B55B-FCE08D013C22Cartoon by Naser Jafari

 

USA_Cartoon by Pedalex

 

Other cartoonists focused on the grim future for the people of Afghanistan, and women in particular:

 

20210816Cartoon by Assad Bina Khahi

 

Cartoonmovement34Cartoon by Mahnaz Yazdani

 

AfghanistanCartoon by Luc Descheemaeker

 

Another set of cartoons focused on the Taliban, with a subset of cartoons devoted the new image of moderation the Taliban are trying to present to the world.

 

Taliban - KZCartoon by Kürşat Zaman

 

10423C13-4D62-4E68-B19F-A81E9EE4973ACartoon by Emad Hajjaj

 

18_9_Die Neue TalibanCartoon by Leopold Maurer

 

This cartoon by Maarten Wolterink perhaps says it best, although I fear history is doomed to repeat itself...

 

Online944

 

Many more Afghanistan cartoon can of course be found in our newsroom.

Tjeerd Royaards
Cartoon Movement editor