As part of the Africa2020 season, the international campaign group Cartooning for Peace is highlighting press cartoons from the African continent in the heart of Paris this weekend, with a tie-in exhibition and a recently-released book.
In partnership with the French Institute, the Forum des images and Westfield Forum des Halles, Cartooning in Africa will be bring together twelve of the most emblematic figures in this funny profession to celebrate press freedom.
The celebration of African cartooning begins tomorrow, Friday 2nd July, with an all-day conference at the Forum des images, highlighting the richness and topicality of press cartoons in Africa. Admission is free but booking is essential, and English translation will be available during the sympoisum.
The cartoonists at this event are Achou (from Chad), Dlog (Tunisia), Gado (Tanzania), Xavier Gorce (France), Kak (France), President of Cartooning for Peace, Kam (Cameroon), Mykaïa (Tunisia), Nime (Algeria), Plantu (France), founder and honorary president of Cartooning for Peace, Lars Refn (Denmark), Alaa Satir (Sudan), Willis from Tunis (Tunisia), Yas (France), Yemi (Ethiopia), Willy Zekid (Republic of Congo), and Zohoré (Ivory Coast).
From Saturday until 11th July, you’ll also be able to enjoy free exhibition at the Canopée of Westfield Forum des Halles to highlight the richness and diversity of press cartoonists from the continent.
The exhibition intends to show the plurality of sensibilities and points of view of these witnesses of our contemporary history who deal with humour, denounce and question the major issues of our time in their cartoons: freedom of expression, migratory crisis, ecological emergency, and human rights.
Cartooning for Peace initiated Cartooning in Africa under the framework of the World Press Freedom Day, jointly organised by UNESCO, the African Union and the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa on 2nd and 3rd May 2019. This truly pan-African event gathered 20 cartoonists from several African countries to discuss issues related to press freedom and to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of expression for our democracies among young people.
That event prompted Africa, a book published in French earlier this year by Calmann-Levy, bringing together the greatest press cartoonists from all over the African continent who are fighting in their respective countries for the fundamental right of press freedom.
In Africa, cartoonist Jean Plantureux, aka Plantu, in partnership with Cartooning for Peace, with text by René Guitton, have brought together a selection of their most striking cartoons, which together constitute a unique collection. Some 50 cartoonists, including Zapiro (South Africa), Gado (Kenya), Glez (Burkina Faso), Dilem (Algeria), Alaa Satir (Sudan), Sherif Arafa (Egypt), Zohoré (Ivory Coast) and Willis from Tunis (Tunisia) represent some 20 countries. Some of them began their work in often difficult conditions, while others have experienced problems later in their careers. What they all have in common is that they have understood that drawing is the ideal weapon for writing about their society and criticising its ills, despite the intimidation and, in some cases, imprisonment to which they are subjected.
Africa has always been a land of palaver and dialogue between joking cousins who know how to take mockery and self-criticism to extremes. These drawings form the markers of contemporary African history. But these artists do not hesitate to aim some of their arrows at the world. They see us as much as we see them, and their vision of strength, relevance and truth, responds to a single watchword that is repeated from drawing board to newsroom: “Cartooning for Freedom”.
Cartooning for Peace is an international network of editorial cartoonists, who fight, through humour, for the respect of cultural diversity and freedoms. Founded in 2006 at the United Nations, Cartooning for Peace, represented by its foundation in Geneva and its association in Paris, is chaired by Le Monde’s and l’Express cartoonist, Plantu, and was placed under the patronage of the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Today, Cartooning for Peace’s network includes 162 cartoonists from 58 different countries around the globe.
• Africa by Plantu and Cartooning for Peace is available through bookshops ISBN 978-2702167526 | Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) – note, in French