international work day
about the active role
of cartooning in society
de travail sur le rôle actif
du dessin de presse dans la société
للإشتغال على الدور الفعال
لرسوم الصحف في المجتمع
If the history of the political cartoon is at least as old as the history of the press, the exhibition ‘Caricature – Hugo on frontpage’ at the House of Victor Hugo, is the illustration.
Present during the working day of the CGF as representatives of a museological exhibition, Mrs. Florence Claval and Inga Wal-Bezombes, respectively communication officer and head of the educational service of the Victor Hugo House, invited the participants to a private visit of the exhibition.
Thus, the Global Forum extended the next day with a presentation of the collection commented and guided by the curator of the exhibition, Mr. Vincent Gille. A chronological presentation of more than 150 caricatures and satirical drawings representing sometimes the poet and romantic
character, sometimes the politician adulated or criticized, to see hated, to finish as a sacred symbol after his death. It was therefore unique, with these cartoons and caricatures, explained in their political contexts, to show the long way that the cartoon has already traveled through history,
highlighting, if it still needed, importance, strength and impact that drawings can have on the issue of political life and democratic reflections.
Faithful to its values, the Paris Town Hall supports freedom of expression and makes it a constant concern.
Thus in March 2017, the Mayor of Paris, Miss Anne Hidalgo, inaugurated a committed project: completely cover the walls of the First Room of the Council with the satirical drawings of Tignous. The 1st Council Chamber of the Paris City Hall is now called the ‘Tignous Room’.
In this continuity, the Paris Town Hall supported the CGF approach. Thus the first deputy mayor of Paris, Serge Orru, with the adviser to culture, Christophe Girard, welcomed all the participants in the working day in the House of UNESCO, in the heart of the City Hall of Paris, in this unique room in the world and reaffirmed the confidence of the City Council in this project and have invited the renewal of the event on these common values by ensuring an even more important active support of the City Council and its resources.
The format of this working day was designed to provide a new and plural context for the actors of the world of cartooning. The venue at House of UNESCO represented a unique opportunity to bring the subject of cartooning under scrutiny from the political perspective of 195 countries simultaneously, all repressed in this seat of top-level diplomacy that every country can call home.
Focusing on the most problematic aspect of cartooning (security, freedom of the press/expression, economics) as so many conferences have done seldom provides solutions and can result in anxiety for those from countries liable to interpret criticism as challenges to their sovereignty. The angle was therefore taken at this Global Forum to treat cartooning as a positive tool already in use for the improvement of society, inviting the participants to share the concrete field initiatives which they initiated and have borne fruit, then distill them into recommendations contextualized within the SDG2030.
To enable dynamic and fluid exchanges, and given the large number of participants, each speaker was invited to hold the floor for consecutive periods of one minute, inviting everyone to carefully and concisely prepare their presentations. The participants were divided into three active groups, ‘participant auditors’, ‘roundtable participants’ and ‘rapporteurs participants’. The two sessions began with the introduction of each participant to the whole assembly then by a brief opening statement from the mediator of each roundtable presenting the theme of the session. There followed an opportunity for networking and informal exchanges on the theme, allowing all to make connections and to share ideas with the ‘roundtable participants’ so that they could mention them during the main exchange once back in room.
During the working sessions the ‘rapporteurs participants’ took note of the exchanges and intervened to obtain further details, delivering at the end of each session a first draft of possible recommendations. All participants were further invited to send any recommendations they wish to make after the event.
These Global Forum each year will provide a window for the formation of viable working relationships. It’s up to everyone to use this opportunity to expand their network, offer collaborations to others, initiate projects and mobilize their forces.
The two informal sessions organized in Saint-Just to prepare and conclude the EGDP in Paris make it possible to make a strong conclusion: to take part in the Cartooning Global Forum is to become aware that we are experiencing something extraordinary; in a round table, discover that we have a 360° vision of the world of cartooning with the physical presence of more than 20 nationalities, representative of the five continents, representative of all the nuances that make up this universe so special. And what we consider a right, an acquired, the holy sacro freedom of expression, is only a chimera or even aberration a few hundred kilometers from France.
Contrary to what some may think, cartooning is not a weapon, it is much more than that: a small seed that can be sprouted in the voluntary minds that will grow on any space of freedom around the world.
In 37 years, the Salon of Saint-Just-le-Martel has become the world capital of cartooning, capital of sharing, freedom. A unique place where one displays his differences without fear of being judged, a place where the pressures of the big ones of this world, whether political or religious, have no place. Extraordinary is not a big enough word. The organization of the Global Forum at the UNESCO House in Paris during and with representatives of the Salon seems obvious. It is not a question of creating an additional association of cartoonists, but of offering a space where everyone can contribute their stone to a collective edifice whose ambition is to allow the drawing of press to shine on the five continents , « freely ».
It is above all a great story of friendship that gave birth to the Cartooning Global Forum. A friendship born in Saint-Just-le-Martel, in the International Festival of Caricature and Cartooning, carried by Gérard Vandenbroucke for 37 years with consistency, generosity and fidelity, where are gathered every year several hundred cartoonists from around the world. Founded by Gérard Vandenbroucke, then Mayor of Saint-Just, with his friends Cabu, Plantu, Loup … among others, with derision as a key word, the meeting quickly became a major event at the service of press freedom. In 2006, the team of Saint-Just and Jean Plantu gave birth to the first exhibitions of what will become Cartooning for Peace and went together to the United Nations in New York for the first exhibition, before an international tour.
Supported by Europe and the Region, in September 2011, Saint-Just inaugurated the Permanent International Center for Caricature, Cartooning and Drawing of Humor. A unique gathering place for the Festival, but also an exhibition hall for retrospectives and events throughout the year. In 2016, the center received the office of Georges Wolinski, in tribute to friends killed in the attacks of January 7, 2015. Today, the Festival brings together the big names in international cartooning alongside young draughtsmen and women, caricaturists and renowned illustrators and satirical drawing lovers.
It was obvious to base the Cartooning Global Forum at the heart of this unifying setting, which is its headquarters. Thus, two major work meetings marked the 2018 festival, with the desire to unite even more participants and make this week of October 3, 2018 a lasting event. And the success of this first Global Forum was clearly made possible by the presence in the steering committee of the Permanent Center of Saint-Just-le-Martel, offering this event an aura of kindness and a strong feeling of unity. Real events outside the walls of the Festival giving it an international political influence, this Global Forum will continue to unfold during the week of the Festival of Saint-Just.
Philippe Henry and Guy Hennequin Vice Présidents of the International Festival of Caricature, Cartooning and Drawing of Humor of Saint-Just-le-Martel
As an exemplary figure of what we seek to defend, Georges Wolinski was a leader of free expression: drawing without constraints, drawing whatever he wished, ignoring criticism and resistance to his work. For this he’s a symbol, a symbol of this liberty of expression which is at the heart of the approach we all want to share as part of the Cartooning Global Forum.
This Global Forum is dedicated to specific outcomes, compiling a list of our widely held grievances and our common work: what is lacking today in cartooning, what are its handicaps, what are its needs and how can he give this precious expression all the freedom it requires? This freedom which makes it possible to engage constructively with others, encouraging reflection, to ask questions, to reach understanding and move forward.
This freedom which must also allow those who live from cartooning to practice their professional activity safely. And here we are on an important collective initiative, to promote cartooning and defend the freedom of expression, because the practicing of this profession is a complicated proposition. As we can see, around the world many cartoonist are deprived of their freedom and sometimes even life. They suffer physically and mentally and this only because of their wish to say what they have to say and to draw what they have to draw.
The Cartooning Global Forum embarks in this direction, to work together, to the same cause. Long live cartooning!
To understand a text, a poem, an artistic or graphic work, in its text, in its language, to understand the hidden meaning of the double meanings, the symbolism of the works whatever they are … no matter how cryptic, to face an image and to understand the meaning, to learn to understand a cartoon, an editorial drawing and to evaluate its scope, all this is essential. And all this is of course only possible through education! Education to acquire knowledge, to no longer suffer taboos and obscurantism, to learn how to overcome the pitfalls of manipulation, fake news and rumors of all kinds, to enjoy free will.
But this education is inaccessible to many and lots of cultural elements can act as obstacles: poverty, social determinism, lack of schools, traditions, geographical isolation. The difficult transmission of knowledge still affects a third of the world’s children today. Some still think in 2018 that the earth is flat. Others have never read a novel or even a book in their lives. And in the twenty-first century, many girls – and too many women – are confined to domestic activities keeping them away from school.
The expertise of cartoonists, illustrators, editorialists, humorists, caricaturists and artists is to be able to transmit an idea in one stroke; a synthetic ability to transform concepts into images beyond the barrier of languages and cultures.
This Global Forum offers to bring together the actors of cartooning to share their solutions using this unique ability to bring and give to those who do not have, the basic tools of knowledge, the critical mind, the analytical and synthetic mind in order to offer them freedom, to decide, to disagree, to choose, to think, to live.
Patrick Pinter Member of the CGF Steering Committee Cartoonist, Illustrator and Artist
Essential to the success of the Cartooning Global Forum was the inclusion of organisations concerned not only with the welfare and rights of cartoonists but those whose remit covers the press in particular and freedom of expression more generally. Thus our profession was represented by a diverse range of national and international cartoonists’ associations eager to offer counterparts from the wider world of human rights advocacy their perspective and experience.
Particularly during the informal sessions that preceded each roundtable discussion these cartoonists were able to speak freely and directly with academics, policy makers, legal experts, directors from major NGOs and multiple archives, museums, and schools dedicated in whole or part to cartooning.
The work tables format helped conversation to be lively, good-natured and at many times frank, with direct questions and issues of long-standing being addressed, with great respect and kindness. Immediate feedback gathered before the conclusion of the event indicated that this aspect of the forum was one of its most appreciated and positive. Already new collaborative working relationships have been established and projects embarked upon as a direct result of attendance on the day. All of this serves as a reminder that the forum is what its participants make of it.
The steering committee will seek to build upward and outward toward the next forum ensuring that the mix of delegates remains simultaneously germane to the topic of cartooning and as diverse in background and expertise as possible.
Terry Anderson Member of the CGF Steering Committee CRNI Northern Europe Representative Cartoonist, Graphic Designer
After the assassination of Tignous and his companions it was essential to publish more in their same spirit, quickly and in large quantities, to show the world that the barbarians would not silence us, that we would not give in to fear and that we would not become hateful. My standing up was at first to pay homage to him, an individual response as a woman. Standing up today is an answer to the community, a project for society.
Almost four years later there has been a lot of talk and debate about cartooning from which very little has resulted. We do not have time for that anymore! There are too few of us for a common goal to remain unknown. If nothing changes, the dead will have been lost for nothing!
It is time to question the place and usefulness of cartooning in society, its concrete use as tool of expression. It’s our responsibility! The challenge of this Cartooning Global Forum is to show humanity that we can work and live together while still disagreeing about much. But we must take a new, different look at cartooning, side by side, all colors, all cultures and unified in our ambitions, armed only with our humanity!
In 1789 article 11 of the Declaration of Human Rights and of the Citizen started with these words: « The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the most precious rights of the Human; every citizen can thus speak, write, print freely […] ». A century and half later, in 1948, this fundamental right was recognised worldwide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is by the reminder of this fundamental Right that I opened the events, exhibition and conference “La Presse en Liberté” (The Press in Liberty) in march 2017, at UNESCO. It seemed essential to me to include today’s meeting within this continuity and support all efforts made by Jérôme Liniger and Nicolas Jacquette, the directors of the Si agency, for the first Cartooning Global Forum to take place in 2018.
The protection of freedom of expression and the security of journalists is one of the most current and sensitive aspects of UNESCO’s mandate. This fundamental right is at the heart of our democratic system, of our culture and values. Our world depends on free exchange and communication, including the most contemporary means of disseminating information, ideas and different perspectives. One of the aspects of freedom of expression, perhaps the most important one, is cartooning and caricature.
This is why the French Delegation supports all initiatives related to these topics. In this sense, I thank all the participants who have put their trust in us and have come from all around the globe to exchange freely and frankly and with such strength and conviction. It is essential that we work together on these questions: What must we do? Through which main channels can we act? Because by recalling the main principles and evoking individual situations, it is above all a matter of understanding how the freedom of cartooning can be better ensured, its creators better protected and how UNESCO and the intergovernmental system of the United Nations can help us in this task.
H. Exc. Mr. Laurent Stéfanini Ambassador French Permanent Delegate at UNESCO