The short URL of the present article is: http://cartoonistsrights.org/NfjHiICORN, the International Cities of Refuge Network.
This April, with support from the Fritt Ord Foundation, CRNI and the House of Cartoonists in Drøbak, Norway curated a show of cartoons taken primarily from the CRNI “Art To Die” for archive.
The archive was started nearly 20 years ago when CRNI began compiling and conserving the cartoons that were getting editorial cartoonists into trouble with authorities in their countries, as an important part of the historical record of the global fight for freedom of expression, and against censorship and tyranny.
The collection was organized and translated into Norwegian by House of Cartoonists curator Vigdis Wolden, culminating in a 4 day exhibit that was put up with the help of volunteers from the local art school. Prominent amongst these were three of CRNI’s clients; Arifur Rahman from Bangladesh, Abdul “Arts” from Somalia, and Palestinian Fadi Abou Hassan.
Working through the good offices of ICORN, all found safe haven and a warm welcome as honored guests from the people of Drøbak, whose citizens embraced the city’s role, creating the House of Cartoonists as a refuge for cartoonists anywhere in the world who find themselves in danger because of their professional work.
Fadi Abou Hassan is the most recent refugee, being rescued last November from a dangerous exile in Algeria, where he was being hunted by agents of the Syrian government after escaping Syrian detention due to his anti-Assad cartoons. He is using his newfound freedom to continue drawing hard-hitting cartoons exposing the brutality of the Assad regime.
The photos and cartoons below are from the exhibit, which was titled “Hurray for Freedom of Expression!” and took its point of departure from the Bicentennial of Norway’s Constitution – one of Europe’s first examples of a modern nation guaranteeing free expression to its citizens. The exhibit also illustrated the development of press freedom for newspaper cartoonists in Norway and abroad.
The short URL of the present article is: http://cartoonistsrights.org/NfjHi