Showing posts with label Charlie Hebdo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlie Hebdo. Show all posts

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Telnaes and Wilkinson on Washington Journal

First Anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo Attack

Ylan Mui

Washington Journal January 9, 2016
http://www.c-span.org/video/?402665-5/washington-journal-roundtable-first-anniversary-charlie-hebdo-attack



Ann Telnaes and Signe Wilkinson talked about the role of political cartoonists and the state of freedom of speech one year after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's Paris headquarters. Topics included cartoonists as journalists; the role of editorial cartoonists in civic and political debate; and the First Amendment. They showed various cartoons and discussed their editorial intention and what topics and caricatures were acceptable. Topics included religious subjects and the controversy over Ms. Telnaes' Christmas cartoon of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his children that was pulled by Washington Post.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Is the AFDI's Draw Muhammad contest erasing its own history?



 A guest editorial by Kathy Mannix

Cartoon lovers may no longer be able to access the slideshow of works submitted to the American Freedom Defense Initiative* Inaugural Draw Muhammad contest held May 3 in Garland, Tex., a suburb of Dallas. The slideshow on Photobucket was easily accessed Wednesday, May 6, when I checked out the wide-ranging talents of those who entered the contest. By Friday, May 8, I couldn't access the slideshow. Visitors to the AFDI site can still see the winning cartoon and click to view video of interviews by The United West* founder Tom Trento with attendees and graphic novelist Bosch Faustin, the contest winner. 

"Wide-ranging talent" may be a tad too kind. As I remember my only view of the works, one was a scan of stick figures on looseleaf paper, most were assemblages of stock images, and fewer than five came from the drawing boards or computers of professional artists or editorial cartoonists.

Still accessible online are the rules for entering the contest. The rules are cartoonish on there own. Rule 5 includes, "AFDI will assume that all art entered for consideration does not infringe upon the copyright of a third party. The artist shall assume all liability if an infringement claim is made." It sure seems that the estate of Norman Rockwell has an infringement claim for the event poster AFDI used at the event and has for sale from its site for $50. It doesn't seem within the realm of parody to replace the triple image of Mr. Rockwell with a triple image of Muhammad. There are parodies of Rockwell's work such as the Four Freedoms a-plenty, but self-portraiture seems a category of its own.

Rule 6 has eight bullets, including the penultimate, "The Entrant does not include any disparaging remarks relating to the Sponsor or a third party." Are all cartoon contest sponsors so thin-skinned?

Faustin's winning work shows the prophet, scimitar raised, and bubble saying, "You can't draw me!" Outside the plane of this image viewers see human hands at work on the drawing with a second bubble saying, "That's why I draw you." This cartoon won both the first prize of $10,000 and a bonus of $2,500 as a fan favorite. Reports of that double win drew me to the ADFI site Wednesday. Faustin's competitors included only one cartoonist whose work I know. An April blog post from that cartoonist reads in part, "AFDI is an anti-Muslim right-wing hate group that is intent on picking a fight with whatever right-wing Muslim hate group will take their bait." That Rule 6 infraction probably took this pro out of the running. I've reached out to him for comments on entering the contest, and await his reply.

*The Southern Poverty Law Center designates both AFDI and TUW as hate groups.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Meet Nik Kowsar, an Iranian-turned-American cartoonist

by Mike Rhode

Soon after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Cartoonists Rights Network International began a fundraising campaign. I reached out to Nikahang "Nik" Kowsar at the time, but for one reason or another, his interview stalled in cyberlimbo. Sadly, Nik's thoughts will remain relevant for the foreseeable future. Since this interview was conducted in February, we've seen American writers of PEN sharply disagree about whether to give a courage award for Charlie Hebdo's cartoonists and presumed attempted murders at a Mohammad cartoon contest in Texas.


What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
I do editorial cartoons, as well as running Toonistan.com, that's an online platform made for helping non-cartoonists making their own cartoons.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
I use felt tip pens, scan with my iPhone using Scanner Pro app, and color the work with Photoshop, so it's a combination of all.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
I was born in 1969 in Tehran, Iran. I'm technically Canadian, but a US resident. Canadian cartoonists helped me get out of Iran.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?
I think Washington is the most relevant place on earth to work in relation with politics on Iran, and I've been running a Persian citizen journalism platform since 2009, and living in DC and the DC metro area since 2010. I'm now living not that far from JFK's "Eternal Flame" in Arlington.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
I studied Geology, and started drawing cartoons and caricature after buying a collection of David Levine's artwork when I was 21. A year later I was hired by Golagha Magazine, Iran's top satirical publication at the time and started working with professionals, that helped me get better with the trade. I also attended painting classes in Iran.I studied Journalism in Canada after leaving Iran.

Who are your influences?
I was in love with David Levine's lines and views, discovered Pat Oliphant and Kal through papers and magazine that reached the University library in Tehran. I also was influenced by Iranian cartoonists such as Iraj Zareh, Ahmad Arabani, Ahmad Sakhavarz and Afshin Sabouki. The last two are now residing in Canada.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
I would have started again by taking sketching courses and quitting Geology! I would have loved to study Journalism and  Design simultaneously and work harder. I would also get more sleep!

What work are you best-known for?
The Crocodile cartoon I drew in 2000, that lead to a National Security crisis in Iran and was the cause of a 4-day protest by the clergy in Qum, and hundreds of thousands of people attending Friday prayers chanting for my death. I had portrayed a crocodile, shedding "Crocodile Tears" strangling a journalist with its tale. Crocodile in Persian is "Temsah" that rhymed with the name of the cleric I had try to mock, who was Ayatollah Mesbah (aka Professor Mesbah). He was, and is, a pro-violence high ranking cleric who had made allegations against Iranian journalists. He also alleged that a CIA operative was in Tehran at the time, with a big suitcase full of US dollars to bribe Iranian journalists against Islam. This was a few weeks before the parliamentary elections in Iran. Many responded, and my response was that cartoon. I was arrested and spent 6 days at the notorious Evin prison, and was literally kicked out after the backlash of my arrest had become bigger than the parliamentary elections. I was on the covers of newspapers and a distraction for political parties for a week.Because of that single cartoon, the Ayatollah is called Professor Temsah (Crocodile), and I always wear Lacoste shirts to remind myself of the cartoon that totally changed my life.I have received death threats, and lived in exile as a refugee since 2003. Canada was my safe haven at that time, and my family joined me in 2007.

What work are you most proud of?
I was part of the group that founded the Iranian Cartoon House and we started the classes that became a center to discover talent. Many of those young kids are now seasoned and experienced artists; some are working as professional cartoonists and animators. It was great seeing two of them in San Francisco a few weeks ago.My work in the late 90's and after had impact on the newspaper readers and editorial became very popular in Iran, where I had to work for 3 different newspapers a day. I somehow became my own competition. We have very great cartoonists in Iran, and possibly I was a good communicator who was helpful in creating jobs for many of those highly talented but shy artists. Cartooning became a serious business in those years and politicians used to respond to this sort of critique. That also turned me into a target of the Islamist hardliners.At last, being with Cartoonists Rights Network International is something I'm really proud of. I was once their client, and now a member of the board, trying to find ways and means to support cartoonists who have experienced hard situations and need their voices to be heard.

What would you like to do  or work on in the future?
I love to find enough funds to turn Toonistan.com to a tool for masses, to give them a voice through cartoons, and help local and national campaigns against dictators. This cannot happen without technical help of brilliant cartoonists. I would also love to create a safer situation for my colleagues in Islamic countries to who are under threat and have to self censor themselves in fear of radical Islamist retribution.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
I watch movies. I also have a Fibromyalgia block! Sometimes I can't even draw a line without pain. Fibromyalgia attacks or flares really block anything...mind, muscles, wrist...I think I can't take anything for granted anymore!

What do you think will be the future of your field?
It's been a really hard decade for editorial cartoonists, but I think millions of people have understood the impact of cartoons and I hope publishers learn from the masses as well and hire more cartoonists.In the digital age, we have to find a way to connect better and deeper and possibly mixing cartoons with applications that could also give audiences a chance to communicate with us and other people would give a new meaning to our profession.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?
I usually attend meetings or events at the Newseum, National Press Club and sessions at a number of think tanks in DC.

What's your favorite thing about DC?
It's a beautiful place. I love the National Mall, museums, theaters, Georgetown,  National Airport, and the monuments. DC is not only a historical place, but you sense the history in the making.

Least favorite?
Ummm...some taxi drivers who expect you to be a devoted Radical Muslim and discuss matters that you hate! I'm a Muslim lite! I drink alcohol and love bacon and avoid people who tell me what I should do or be!I've met many cab drivers who were in love with Iran's former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I told one that if he loves Mahmoud that much, he should leave DC immediately, go to Iran and work for him! He changed the subject after I made that suggestion!

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?
I love Lincoln Memorial for many reasons. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Udvar-Hazy center near Dulles, remind me of the days I hoped to become a pilot! National History Museum gets me back to the days I studied mineralogy and  paleontology. And as a journalist, who could not love the Newseum? I've also taken friends to the Library of Congress and the Congress.

How about a favorite local restaurant?
For meat loving times, Ray's Hell Burger and Ruth's Chris Steak House.
For Pizza, Pupatella in Arlington.
And for Iranian cuisine, Amoo’s House of Kabob in McLean.
For fast food, I cannot love Moby Dick House of Kabob enough.

Do you have a website or blog?
I run Toonistan.com and I'm the editor in chief of khodnevis.org.
I'm not a journalist, but I should probably note that Nik recently turned the tables and interviewed me for the CRNI on “Supporting Mohammad Saba'aneh,” the Palestinian cartoonist  who also ran afoul of Islamic cartooning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#Nous vomir dans votre direction générale!

Posted by Steve Artley

Like something out of a Monty Python skit, surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, Bernard Holtrop, who was not in the office at the time of the attack because he “doesn’t like going to meetings,” says all the global support sickens him. “We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.” Link: Charlie Hebdo cartoonist scoffs at supporters [NY Daily News].

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Skewed Terror

by Steve Artley

JE SUIS CHARLIE vigil at the Newseum in DC

Guest post by Bruce Guthrie

The Wednesday attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly newspaper, set off a torrent of email traffic supporting the freedom of the press.  By 1pm, a vigil had been scheduled that night at the Newseum:

In light of the horrendous attack that killed 12 people in Paris today, let's get together to stand peacefully in support of Charlie Hebdo and for freedom of the press. Bring your pencils and pens. #jesuischarlie

It was a bitterly cold night here in DC and vigils are always held outside for some reason but sometimes you just gotta go.  So I did.

On the way, I ran into another vigil near the Navy Memorial Metro stop.  They said they were with the All Souls Church, a Unitarian community, but I wasn't really interested in a religious response to the violence so I moved on quickly.

I was early and initially only a few people including the lead organizers, mostly French, were there.  They handed "JE SUIS CHARLIE" -- "I am Charlie" -- papers to people as we showed up.  Among those filming were Newseum staff who said we were free to go into the museum for heat and bathrooms if we wanted to.  I heard their atrium jumbotron said "JE SUIS CHARLIE" and I wanted to film it so I went through security.  Pretty quickly, the rest of the folks started coming in too.


There, we warmed up and the organizers explained to the cameras why we were assembling -- to stand up for freedom of the press -- and that the Newseum -- which has the First Amendment emblazoned on its Pennsylvania Avenue side entrance -- was the ideal place to do it.  They had no idea how many people were going to show up but it was easily several hundred folks which I thought was pretty impressive for an instant event on a very cold night.

We then went back outside.  Once we had reassembled, the names of the terrorist victims were read.  The crowd chanted "JE SUIS CHARLIE" in solidarity with each name.



People continued to mingle, arrive, and depart.  I noticed Chistine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, had come to support her countrymen and the cause as well.



I was relieved that I never heard the word "Muslim" during the event.  The focus was on freedom of the press, not the repressive elements out there trying to suppress it.

I felt better having gone.

More pictures on http://www.bguthriephotos.com/graphlib.nsf/keys/2015_01_07_Je_Suis_Charlie

--
Bruce Guthrie
Photo obsessive
http://www.bguthriephotos.com










Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Je Suis Charlie by Steve Artley



I offer my quickly rendered tribute to the satirists of Charlie Hebdo. Rather than a cleverly glib commentary, here I offer a serious statement. I proudly stand in plain view and loudly utter the phrase, "je suis Charlie (I am Charlie)!" This is what editorial cartoonists do; stand and show ourselves. On every one of our rendered opines we proudly inscribe our names for all to see. Yes, I drew this. Yes, I wrote this. I said this. Me, an individual with a voice. And, I published it, sent it to my syndicate, posted it on the Internet for all the world to see.

The cartoonists killed in the Paris attack today were not hiding unseen in the bushes. Unlike their murderers, the people killed were not nameless clandestine cowards who hide their identity under balaclavas and secret themselves away into hiding after perpetrating extreme violence on unarmed targets. They didn't use guns or bombs. No weapons were among their tools, nor were threats of violence issued. They openly drew pictures that lampooned, that provoked thought, that made a statement through satirical renderings. For that they were gunned down.I appeal to those who cherish freedom to stand united against these cowards, against those who aid them and against those who applaud them. Silence allows them to flourish, so speak out. Let your voices be heard, your pencils unsheathed, your keyboards tapped. ‪#‎JeSuisCharlie‬ ‪#‎CharlieHebdo‬


- Steve Artley